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Governor Lincoln D. Chafee Announces Rhode Island Higher Education Research Collaborative

Partnership to Leverage Higher Education Resources to Produce Research Supporting Strategic Economic Development Policy

Providence, RI - Governor Lincoln D. Chafee was joined today by a diverse group of Rhode Island leaders to announce $200,000 in public and private funding to form the new College and University Research Collaborative. Participants in the announcement included college and university presidents from across Rhode Island; Neil Steinberg, President and CEO of the Rhode Island Foundation; Dan Egan, President of the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Rhode Island; and the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation (RIEDC).

Governor Chafee recently met with key partners – including the Rhode Island Public Expenditure Council (RIPEC) and the Rhode Island Foundation – to outline the framework for an independent research division to support economic development policy. A combination of public and private funding will support the Collaborative; the RIEDC will match the Rhode Island Foundation's $100,000 commitment.

"Strengthening Rhode Island's economy has been and remains my top priority as Governor," Governor Chafee said. "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. 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."

The Collaborative is being developed by college and university presidents, including: Christina Hull Paxson, Ph.D., Brown University; Honorable Ronald K. Machtley, J.D., Bryant University; Ray M. Di Pasquale, Community College of Rhode Island; Mim L. Runey, LP.D., Johnson and Wales University; Richard I. Gouse, New England Institute of Technology; Rev. Brian J. Shanley, O.P., Ph.D., Providence College; Nancy Carriuolo, Ph.D., Rhode Island College; John Maeda, Ph.D., Rhode Island School of Design; Donald Farish, Ph.D., J.D. Roger Williams University; Jane Gerety, RSM, Ph.D., Salve Regina University; and David Dooley, Ph.D., University of Rhode Island.

"While often discussed, the Collaborative is a unique example of Rhode Island effectively using its tight networks and size to its advantage," said Daniel P. Egan, President of AICU Rhode Island. "The Rhode Island Foundation has been a key collaborator in translating the urgency felt by community leaders in our state into action."

"The expertise made available through the College and University Research Collaborative will serve as a critical resource for objective, nonpartisan data that will help Rhode Island's leaders develop sustainable economic policies. The Collaborative is an excellent example of how the State of Rhode Island and its institutions of higher education can work together to improve the quality of life for all Rhode Island residents. We are pleased to contribute Bryant University's unique expertise to this important endeavor," said Ronald K. Machtley, President, Bryant University.

"Together, we can put the collective expertise of our public and private institutions to work on behalf of informed economic policy decisions in our state," said Dr. David M. Dooley, President of the University of Rhode Island. "The effective use of data and research cannot be underestimated; it can accelerate our economic recovery. No single entity can solve our state's economic problems. With this collaborative, we now have a statewide platform to assist our policy makers with those issues most critical to Rhode Islanders today."

"We know that Rhode Island has tremendous talent and resources within its borders and The Rhode Island Foundation is pleased to support this first-of-its-kind partnership," said Neil Steinberg, President and CEO of The Rhode Island Foundation. "Collaboration among colleges and universities around knowledge transfer to inform decision-making was one of the key themes that emerged from Make It Happen RI and it is encouraging to see AICU Rhode Island and the Governor take this positive step forward to provide a critical resource for Rhode Island's policy leaders."

The Collaborative will strategically focus on consensus state economic policy issues developed by public policy representatives from the executive and legislative branches of state government in consultation with campus leaders. The collaborative will include a leadership team, panel of policy leaders, research fellows, and administrative support that will work together utilize the knowledge of eleven different higher education institutions.

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