powerS and duties of the board of governors

The Board is the state's legal entity for public higher education. It has the capacity to sue and be sued, to employ personnel, to own real property, and to engage in collective bargaining. In addition, the Board is empowered to --

  1. Approve a systematic program of information gathering and analysis to assist in meeting the current and future educational needs of the state.
  2. Approve a master plan defining broad goals and objectives for the higher education system and use these continually to evaluate higher education.
  3. Prepare and maintain a five-year funding plan for higher education.
  4. Oversee independent institutions of higher education in Rhode Island and regulate proprietary schools.
  5. Approve a budget for the three public institutions and for the Office of Higher Education.
  6. Develop a comprehensive capital development program.
  7. Appoint a Commissioner of Higher Education, who serves under contract at the pleasure of the Board of Governors.
  8. Establish an Office of Higher Education; provide for its staffing and organization.
  9. Appoint and dismiss presidents of the three institutions of higher education in conjunction with the Commissioner; approve or disapprove of vice-presidential appointments made by the presidents of the three institutions.
  10. Establish other agencies or subcommittees necessary to help promote any aspect of higher education in Rhode Island.
  11. Establish a clear, distinct mission statement for each of the three institutions with the goal of minimizing duplication and maximizing efficiency.
  12. While the Board is prohibited from engaging in the operation or administration of any subordinate institution, it is empowered to adopt and submit a budget for public higher education and to allocate appropriations among its institutions; to approve tables of organization; to create, abolish, and consolidate departments, divisions, programs and courses of study; and to acquire, hold and dispose of property for the three institutions.


The Rhode Island Office of Higher Education and the Board of Governors

The Rhode Island Office of Higher Education, which operates under the direction of the Commissioner of Higher Education, is the administrative and research arm of the Rhode Island Board of Governors for Higher Education. The Board of Governors is not a department of state government but an independent public corporation vested with the responsibility of providing oversight for the system of public higher education in Rhode Island. This system consists of three institutions: the University of Rhode Island, Rhode Island College, and the Community College of Rhode Island and the Rhode Island Office of Higher Education.

In fulfilling the state and federal statutory and regulatory responsibilities of the Board of Governors, the Office of Higher Education serves to avoid costly duplication of services by carrying out and coordinating certain functions on a system wide basis. Examples of such functions include collective bargaining and administration of collective bargaining agreements, systemwide planning, legislative and executive relations, capital development, liaison with national and regional education agencies, data gathering and analysis, education policy development, facilities planning and oversight, the staffing of presidential searches, budgetary consolidation, and staff work for the Board of Governors and its subcommittees.

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Last Updated September 22, 2003