Ray DiPasquale the President of the Community College of Rhode Island is stepping down. The decision comes after nearly a decade at the helm.
Di Pasquale began his first term as President in 2006. During his tenure the school has seen record enrollments; graduating it’s largest-ever class in 2013. He also oversaw CCRI’s first-ever capital campaign which raised more $7 million.
In a statement Di Pasquale said serving as CCRI President was a “true privilege.”
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.
College professors are raising concerns about a plan to tie state funding for higher education with performance. The proposal calls for targets in areas like graduation rates and degrees in high demand fields. Schools would have to meet the targets to qualify for part of their state funding starting after 2016.
Community College of Rhode Island English Professor Anthony Amore says students and faculty need to play a role in setting the performance measures.
Community College faculty and alumni gathered at the Statehouse Wednesday, as Governor Lincoln Chafee officially declared November 12th "CCRI Day."
CCRI is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. President Ray DiPasquale emphasized the college's efforts to educate Rhode Islanders.
"It's 40,000 students during the course of a year, 64,000 alums, and they all live in Rhode Island, and 1,200 employees," DiPasquale said. "So when you think about all that, it’s truly an economic engine for the state."
Governor Lincoln Chafee is slated to declare Wednesday "CCRI Day" in Rhode Island. The declaration comes on the occasion of the community college system's 50th Birthday, which is being celebrated this year.
CCRI President Ray DiPasquale is expected speak during the announcement at the Statehouse. Rhode Island Higher Education Commissioner Jim Purcell and State Education Board Chair Eva-Marie Manuso will also be in attendance.
DiPasquale recently announced he would stay at CCRI, but he was a finalist in the search for a new state education commissioner in Louisiana.