SCHOOL DAZE: RIC searches for identity amid severe enrollment drop

UNWELCOME FEELING: Erik Christiansen, Rhode Island College history professor and faculty union president, says the college has undergone changes in the last decade, not all for the better.
PBN PHOTO/MICHAEL SALERNO
UNWELCOME FEELING: Erik Christiansen, Rhode Island College history professor and faculty union president, says the college has undergone changes in the last decade, not all for the better.
PBN PHOTO/MICHAEL SALERNO
Erik Christiansen didn’t know much about Rhode Island College when he agreed to take a job teaching history there in 2010. The Maryland native quickly fell in love with the bustling suburban campus, filled with eager students and enthusiastic faculty members, many of whom, like him, turned down offers from elite, private colleges because they…

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  1. Rhode Island ranks on per capita spending on higher education at around #46. More damning is the State has ranked at that level for decades. Add to it that capital investment in higher education is subjected to the whims of the general electorate via bond issues, a practice unheard in most states, especially the more progressive ones. I have to assume State officials are proud of this low ranking since it is so long-standing.

    The situation at RIC is the outcome of a State lacking in thinking big or comprehensively on public higher education; a state stuck in the weeds and transactional minutae. Sadly this is not likely to change.