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Nancy Carriuolo: 12 Who Made a Difference in RI in 2012

Wednesday, December 26, 2012


Rhode Island College President Nancy Carriuolo puts RIC on the map and worked the politics for better funding. Photo: RI College.

It isn't easy passing a $50 million bond question in a recession economy, but Rhode Island College President Nancy Carriuolo put the full-court press on in 2012, winning not only her ballot question but putting her college increasingly on the map in Rhode Island.

The winners are Rhode Island's young adults who can gain access to affordable education, not to mention the state at large--86 percent of RIC undergrads are residents of the state and remain in Rhode Island after graduating. They are the state's teachers, social workers, nurses and business owners.

Carriuolo made it clear in 2012 that an economy like Rhode Island's, still staggering under double-digit unemployment, needs better colleges more than ever. "As the economy continues to wobble, the public is looking to higher education as one of the levers to use in seeking a means to provide more people with a quality, affordable education with stable costs, that will lead to a career," she wrote on the Huffington Post in July.

The need for "excellent four-year educations"

Pointing to the importance of community colleges needing to provide training for the workforce, Carriuolo added that "colleges such as my own need to focus on providing excellent four-year educations that supply outstanding general education and the entry-level credential for many professions, notably community service providers (such as teachers, businesspersons, social workers, and nurses), while supporting some training and research."

So in she went for the money to push that agenda forward. RI Question 3 allowed the state to issue general bonds of $50 million for renovations and modernization of two buildings that host a broad array of social science, humanities and science programs, as well as tutoring and counseling services and college preparatory programs for disadvantaged students. The fund will also cover the expansion of the RIC's Fogarty Life Science Building – where the college’s allied health and nursing programs are located.

The measure passed handily, with more than 66% in favor. For Carriuolo, that's a big win for RIC, but also for Rhode Island. "Development of an educated, local workforce builds RI’s human capital," she says. "RIC is aptly named Rhode Island College."


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