A group of Rhode Island College faculty and staff has sent a strongly-worded letter to state officials, warning that college President Nancy Carriuolo is taking RIC in the wrong direction. The letter comes as the State Council on Post Secondary Education conducts an annual personnel review for Carriuolo.

In the letter, 14 RIC faculty and staff members accuse Carriuolo of mismanaging the college and firing or reassigning employees who disagree with her.  

The Rhode Island Senate has approved legislation that would tie some funding for public colleges and universities to their performance. Supporters say the aim is to increase timely graduation rates, and the number of students in high demand fields.

The new legislation would create a set a unique set of standards for the Community College of Rhode Island, Rhode Island College, and the University of Rhode Island, to reach those goals.  Supporters say the bill would shrink the skills gap, by getting students into the workforce quicker with the appropriate education.

Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

Big changes are in the offing for Rhode Island public education policy. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay on what’s at stake.

After six years as Rhode Island’s top education guru, education commissioner Deborah Gist is headed to her native Tulsa to become school superintendent. Eva-Marie Mancuso, chairwoman of the state education board, is out. Barbara Cottam is slated to become the new leader of the board as Gov. Gina Raimondo puts her stamp on arguably the most important mission of government, educating  the young.

Courtesy Rhode Island College

Rhode Island College holds a ribbon cutting ceremony today for Alex and Ani Hall. The $17 million renovation project created the university’s first-ever arts building.  

The 1958 building originally housed a student center, cafeteria, and library.  RIC President Nancy Carriuolo says the renovated building has plenty of natural light and a special ventilation system to make sure the studios are safe for art making.

Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

In the final installment of our series Paying For It: Rhode Islanders Struggle with Student Debt, education reporter Elisabeth Harrison visits the Rhode Island Student Loan Authority to speak with Executive Director Charlie Kelley. She asked him to walk through the payment system for a student who has borrowed $31,000, about the average for recent graduates in Rhode Island.

Elisabeth Harrison

Colleges all across Rhode Island hold graduation ceremonies this month, and many of their students will receive diplomas and then face thousands of dollars in student loans.  

As we continue our series Paying For It: Rhode Islanders Struggle with Student Debt, Rhode Island Public Radio’s Elisabeth Harrison looked at how mounting student loans are impacting students and the decisions they make about their future.

Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

Many Rhode Islanders are paying off student loans that average more than $31,000, one of the highest student debt burdens in the nation. As we continue our series Paying for It: Rhode Islanders Struggle With Student Debt, we look at what happens when those loans are too much to handle.

Rhode Island Public Radio’s Education reporter Elisabeth Harrison met Allison Dean at her house on a quiet street in Warwick, sandwiched between the airport and Narragansett Bay.

Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

Rhode Island has the fifth highest rate of student loan debt in the country and experts say part of the reason is the large number of expensive, private colleges, like Bryant University, Providence College and Salve Regina in Newport. One of the most expensive is the Rhode Island School of Design.

Rhode Island Public Radio’s education reporter, Elisabeth Harrison, met one graduate now staring down hundreds of thousands of dollars in student loans.

Thousands of colleges seniors receive their diplomas this month in Rhode Island and across the nation.  And thousands of them will soon have to start paying off their student loans. 

Rhode Island has one of the highest rates of student debt in the nation; the average burden on students in the class of 2012 was more than $30,000, according to a study by the Institute for College Access and Success.

As part of our series looking at what it's like to live with student debt, Rhode Island Public Radio's Elisabeth Harrison spoke with Lauren Asher, the Institute's director.


Seventy four undocumented students have enrolled at the state’s public colleges and universities.

They’re taking advantage of a policy the state adopted in 2011.

The controversial policy allows undocumented students to pay in-state tuition at any of Rhode Island’s schools of higher education. The seventy-four students taking advantage of the policy is about half the number lawmakers predicted. Ana Cano-Morales is the head of the Latino Policy Institute at Roger Williams University. She offers several reasons for the lower-than-expected numbers.

Elisabeth Harrison

Rhode Island College has seen a nearly 60 percent increase in the number of veterans on campus since 2009.

RIC has taken steps to better serve veterans, including opening a Veterans’ Resource Center, which helps connect veterans to a wide variety of services, including federal and state tuition assistance.

The center also employs student veterans in work study positions and makes regular phone calls to veterans to see how they are doing. RIC says the calls are a way of checking in on student veterans, who may not visit the resource center but may still have questions.

Flo Jonic / RIPR

The old South Street power station in Providence’s jewelry district has been vacant for well over a decade. But it’s about to get a facelift and a new life in the state’s higher education system.

Brown University has announced plans to re-develop the century-old South Street power station, also known as the Dynamo House, into a shared nursing education center and administrative offices.  The nursing center will be part of the joint nursing school run by the University of Rhode Island and Rhode Island College. The administrative offices will be used by Brown. 

The nursing school that was to be shared by the University of Rhode Island and Rhode Island College is on life support. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay wonders if this project became a victim of our state’s legendary turf battles.

When it was proposed two years ago, the plan to build a new $60 million nursing school in Providence’s Jewelry District was what politicians, business leaders and educators like to call a “win-win.’’