RIC $76K-per-week consultant contract terminated

THE STATE has terminated a contract with a consulting company which was reviewing operating procedures at Rhode Island College. / COURTESY RHODE ISLAND COLLEGE

PROVIDENCE – The state has terminated a $76,000-per-week contract granted to a consulting firm that was providing financial analysis and recommendations to Rhode Island College, the R.I. Department of Administration confirmed on Thursday.

The company, Alvarez & Marsal Public Sector Services LLC, was hired to help effect programmatic, operational and financial improvements at the college, which has been financially underperforming, especially during the pandemic. 

The contract, if completed, would have run 10 weeks, costing roughly $760,000. The price of the review drew backlash from some state legislators, who claimed that the money would have been better used in another way. Legislators also expressed displeasure with the fact that the contract did not go out to bid.

“Rather than putting the financial burden on students, many of whom have been adversely impacted by the COVID pandemic, there was an identified solution to hire consultants with expertise in this very situation, to assist RIC in its internal review of programs, departments, processes and analysis, and in its efforts to address its near-term and long- term budget issues,” said R.I. Department of Administration spokesman Robert Dulski.

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“Now that incoming Gov. [Daniel J.] McKee will be responsible for the upcoming FY 2022 budget proposal, we will cancel this contract tomorrow with Alvarez & Marsal, a global firm with Boston offices. The firm will provide a report on the work it completed and any preliminary findings reached. This will allow the incoming administration to work with the CPE & RIC in identifying what they believe is the best solution moving forward,” Dulski added.

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