higher education

Brown University’s endowment earned investment returns of roughly 12.6 percent in fiscal year 2013, up sharply from just 1 percent in 2012. The University says its total long term investment pool is now worth $2.86 billion.

John Bender

Minority students and faculty are in relatively short supply at the University of Rhode Island, but efforts are underway to improve their numbers. Rhode Island Public Radio Education Reporter and Morning Edition Host Elisabeth Harrison sat down with URI's Vice President of Community, Equity and Diversity Naomi Thompson to talk about the challenges to increasing diversity on URI's campus.


Roger Williams University is reporting success with a new marketing tool. The tuition guarantee program takes the guesswork out of going to college.

Roger Williams University now offers all students a tuition guarantee. It’s an assurance that tuition will remain the same for all four years of an undergraduate’s education, provided the student stays enrolled continuously. University president Donald Farish said it’s not only increased the quality and size of their freshman class, but has boosted the freshman to sophomore retention rate from 78 to 84 percent.

Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

Roger Williams University said it’s holding the line on tuition costs.  Tuition will remain just below 30-thousand dollars for the third year in a row.

And University president Donald Farish said he will keep it frozen as long as possible.

"Our goal is to make Roger Williams education a  little more affordable every year to a few more people by not increasing our tuition," said Farish.

University of Rhode Island

Jewelry success story Alex and Ani has purchased naming rights to the basketball court at the University of Rhode Island's Ryan Center for an undisclosed sum. The men's and women's basketball teams will take the court this season with the Alex & Ani logo prominently displayed at both ends of the floor.

URI is not the only state university upgrading facilities thanks to the company's largesse. The Alex and Ani name will also grace a new arts center scheduled to open this year at Rhode Island College.

file / URI

The days are getting shorter, our cobalt coastline is cooler. The rhythms of fall return. In our cozy corner of New England, a timeless harbinger of the season is students thronging college campuses.

Behind the teary parental goodbye hugs and lugging the laptops to the dorm looms an uneasiness in the realm of higher education these days. Students loaded down with mountains of debt graduate into an uncertain economy. ``Do you want fries with that diploma’’ is the gallows humor of our age.

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan heads to Rhode Island later this month to help mark the 350th anniversary of the state’s Colonial Charter.

Kagan is scheduled to speak at a forum in Providence sponsored by Roger Williams University, as part of a year-long series of events celebrating the historic significance of the 1663 charter.

Brown University Medical School professor and doctor at Rhode Island hospital is expected in court Wednesday on charges he violated Rhode Island’s social host law. Bruce Becker is accused of allowing alcohol at a birthday party for his 18-year-old son at their home in Barrington.

A documentary about the fight to create Pell Grants will screen Wednesday evening as part of the Rhode Island International Film Festival.

The film is called "Pell Grants: A Passion for Education." It details the events in Washington leading up the the creation of the federal student loan program named for the late Rhode Island Senator Claiborne Pell.

As part of the screening at the Veteran's Memorial Auditorium in Providence, Pell’s widow Nuala Pell and his grandson Clay Pell will take part in a question and answer session.

file / RIPR

Once again, Rhode Island has embarked on an advertising campaign to raise our state’s flagging self-esteem. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay says it’s time for us to stop running down our tiny corner of New England.

Back in 1996, when Jack Reed was running his first U.S. Senate campaign, Texas Gov. Ann Richards came to Newport to speak at a Reed fund-raiser. The tart-tongued Texan introduced the vertically-challenged Rhode Island Democrat by saying to prolonged laughter that Reed is proof ``that size doesn’t matter.’’

University officials are not saying whether they will keep Steven Cohen as a member of the Brown Corporation, after the company he founded, SAC Capital Advisors, was charged with widespread insider trading.

Cohen himself is not named in the federal indictment, but the Securities and Exchange Commission has filed civil charges against him, accusing him of mismanaging the company.

SAC Capital denies the accusations, saying Cohen acted appropriately at all times.

The State Board of Education put off a vote Monday night on Governor Lincoln Chafee’s recommendation of attorney Eva-Marie Mancuso for State Commissioner of Higher Education. The delay followed warnings from Common Cause Rhode Island that the appointment would constitute an ethics violation.

A vote Monday at the State Board of Education may create a leadership void at a key moment for opponents of a new test-based high school graduation requirement.

Those opponents have lined up some 20 people from the state’s higher education community to testify at Monday’s meeting, but they may be overshadowed by a vote to turn State Education Board Chair Eva-Marie Mancuso into the state’s Interim Commissioner of Higher Education. Governor Lincoln Chafee announced Mancuso as his choice for the post on Friday.

The State Board of Education met Thursday to discuss the future of the Office of Higher Education, which is slated to stop receiving state funding in July of 2014. Lawmakers dealt the department an early blow in the new budget, cutting funding by roughly 40 percent. Education Board Chair Eva-Marie Mancuso says she was disappointed by the decision.

“I was surprised,” Mancuso said. “I was not happy because it’s premature in my mind. They gave us until next July to in fact meet that goal, and so it’s going to be challenging.”

Courtsey Roger Williams University

Recent college graduates face a still-sluggish job market and student loan burdens that are higher than ever, but none of that fazed new Roger Williams University graduate Abby Moreau. When she didn’t get much response to the resumes she sent out, Moreau decided to skip the job hunt altogether and start her own business, a social media company called Social Gal Abby.  http://www.socialgalabbyonline.com