Building on the Past, Looking Toward the Future: President's Midyear Review
Rhode Island College President Nancy Carriuolo presented her 2013 Midyear Address to a standing-room-only crowd in the Student Union Ballroom earlier this week.
She opened by remarking on the overwhelming talent at Rhode Island College, then introduced RIC musical theater major Sarah Pothier, who recently won the Richard Maltby Jr. Award for Excellence in Musical Theater at the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival. Pothier sang a sample of her winning performances of “Meadowlark” and “Pulled.”
Carriuolo then reviewed Rhode Island College’s achievements over the last six months and outlined her goals for the future.
· The single biggest accomplishment for Rhode Island College was receiving voter approval for the largest bond in the college’s history – $50 million to renovate and modernize Craig-Lee and Gaige halls and to renovate, upgrade and expand a small portion of the Fogarty Life Science Building. Work is expected to begin in March, with a currently projected planned completion date of January 2017.
· The Keefe Transportation Center opened last fall as a site for RIC’s new bus shelter, Zipcars, rental bicycles and, in the future, a charging station for electric cars.
· The renovation of the historic Yellow Cottage was completed last fall as a result of a private-public pro bono partnership with Gilbane Construction Co.
· RIC made a dramatic leap in graduation rates of its Hispanic students, ranking 20th among the top 25 public institutions of higher education, according to a report released last fall by the Education Trust Report.
· A new first-year experience program was introduced, as well as major revisions to the general education curriculum.
· Professional studies and continuing education added 18 new sections last fall, boosting enrollment by more than 100 people and generating more than $200,000 – an increase of 62 percent over the previous year.
· Technology enhancements include upgrades to nearly 30 e-classrooms, multimedia improvements in several buildings and expanded support for faculty and staff.
· The number of freshman applications for fall 2013 is up by six percent from last year, which was itself a record year for the college.
· A variety of capital improvement projects are underway, including construction of the $17 million Alex and Ani Hall art center and upgrades to utilities and parking lots.
· Four new bachelor degree programs are under development: youth development, community health and wellness, early childhood education and health sciences, as well as a certificate of undergraduate study in youth services.
· The college is launching a new Sustainable Communities Initiative, as well as more than a dozen green and sustainability studies programs.
Carriuolo ended her midyear address by reminding faculty and staff of how invaluable they are. She read a sampling of what she called “Valentine Love Notes” from students and parents, who had written notes to thank faculty and staff for their exemplary work.
One student’s letter concluded: “I love Rhode Island College. I have been reached. I have been inspired. And I am glad that I will be connected with this college for life.”