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State of Rhode Island General Assembly
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MEDIA ADVISORY: House Oversight Committee to hear update on strategic planning at RIC in wake of controversial contract
STATE HOUSE — The House Committee on Oversight is scheduled to meet Thursday to hear an update on strategic planning at Rhode Island College from college officials and the Office of Postsecondary Education.
The committee will meet
Thursday, March 18, at 4 p.m.
in the House Lounge on the second floor of the State House.
The meeting comes in the wake of reports that the state Council on Postsecondary Education hired an out-of-state firm to help Rhode Island College close a $10-million deficit.
The firm, New York-based Alvarez & Marsal, was hired with a no-bid contract on Dec. 14 at $76,000 a week in a contract that expired Feb. 28.
After the contract was made public, several officials, including Oversight Committee Chairwoman Patricia A. Serpa (D-Dist. 27, West Warwick, Coventry, Warwick), expressed their shock and disappointment, prompting the college to drop the contract.
“This is a blatant cavalier attitude of disrespect for taxpayer dollars,” said Representative Serpa. “Was the Board of Governors at Rhode Island College consulted about this? If not, why not? If so, did no one consider the possibility that colleges and universities nationwide have all had to reconfigure their strategies in light of COVID-19?”
The State House remains closed to the public due to the pandemic. The meeting will be live streamed at
Members of the media wishing to arrange for coverage or interviews are asked to contact Larry Berman at (401) 447-2655.
For more information, contact:
State House Room 20
Providence, RI 02903
Lt. Governor's Office
Secretary of State
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