PC to Join Higher-Education Collaborative to Research State’s Economic Issues
Providence College will join colleges and universities in the state in a collaborative effort to muster faculty expertise to research solutions to the economic challenges facing Rhode Island.
PC will become part of the new College & University Research Collaborative (CURC), an organization created by the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities in Rhode Island (AICU Rhode Island) and announced January 15 by Gov. Lincoln D. Chafee.
“Rhode Island is home to some of the finest higher-education institutions in the country, and we should be using these assets to our strategic advantage,” Chafee said. “This partnership will harness the tremendous knowledge and resources of our colleges and universities to develop sound public policy research that will grow our economy.”
Every private and public college and university in the state will appoint a faculty member to serve on the collaborative. The 11 research fellows will be given stipends and time off to serve with the group. To get the organization started in its first year, the Rhode Island Foundation and the Rhode Island Economic Development Corp. each will provide $100,000.
The faculty members will be asked to research and recommend solutions to economic issues identified by an executive committee, which will include the public policy directors from the state Senate, state House of Representatives, and governor’s office, and representatives from the Rhode Island Foundation and AICU Rhode Island.
CURC will be directed by a leadership team that will include the 11 college presidents and Daniel P. Egan ’92, president of AICU Rhode Island. AICU Rhode Island will hire two research associates to serve as staff.
The new organization is a result of “Make it Happen R.I.,” an event hosted in September by the Rhode Island Foundation. Participants identified challenges facing the state, including the need to increase employment opportunities, close the skills gap, market the state, and help startups thrive. They suggested that the state’s resources, including its higher-education institutions, be leveraged to find solutions.
— Vicki-Ann Downing