by Doug MacGunnigle, WPRO News
The president of Rhode Island College is stepping down following criticism from some members of the faculty and staff.
Nancy Carriuolo said in a letter to the college community on Thursday that she would step down following graduation in May. “Rhode Island College has a long and proud tradition of serving the community and the state as Rhode Island’s oldest public institution and a leading regional college,” Carriuolo said. “It has been a pleasure and a privilege to serve as President for the past eight years. RIC serves thousands of Rhode Island students each year, and I am honored to have been a part of their educational journey.”
Bill Foulkes, Chair of the Council on Postsecondary Education, commented: “The Council is grateful for the work President Carriuolo has done to expand diversity and grow the infrastructure at the institution,” adding, “RIC has a strong reputation for academic excellence, especially in the fields of Education, Nursing, and Social Work, and the Council is eager to find a leader who can build on President Carriuolo’s work and advance the college’s mission.”
Several faculty and staff members had criticized her management style and decisions in a letter last month to the state’s Council on Postsecondary Education, which oversees RIC. Another group of faculty and staff responded in support of Carriuolo.
Political Sciene Professor Mark Motte, a critic of Carriuolo’s administration, told WPRO’s Steve Klamkin that this was “a sad day for the college because of the negative publicity that this will cause throughout the state. We’re a very fine institution. Unfortunately, we’ve been led by a president and an administration which has been marked by hubris, corruption, and treachery. This is a person who ran Rhode Island College as a person fiefdom.”
Carriuolo began her tenure as President on July 1, 2008, and prior to joining RIC, she served as Deputy Commissioner and Chief Academic Officer at the then Rhode Island Office of Higher Education.
In her letter, Carriuolo acknowledged the criticism. “As we are all aware, recently the campus community has voiced a very public mixture of support and criticism of my time at RIC. I cannot ignore the fact that the college community is divided. Consequently, for the sake of the college, the Postsecondary Council and I have agreed that I will step down as president after spring graduation.”
LISTEN BELOW: WPRO News’ Steve Klamkin gets reaction from RIC Professor Mark Motte about the resignation of college President Carriuolo.