CCRI: The Endgame

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It appears the Community College of Rhode Island continues to function on an “interim” basis. The institution is currently staffed by interim deans in the following Academic Divisions/Departments: Division of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, Division of Business, Science, Technology and Math, The Learning Resources Department, Assistant Dean of Nursing Education (Interim Assistant Dean of Nursing).

Wow! The Community College of Resident Interims continues to provide support for a proposal I submitted to the General Assembly back in 2011, Restructuring Higher Education in Rhode Island. The proposal was submitted to address many of the problems that still exist. The fact that Governor Gina Raimondo submitted a 2020 Budget Article (the infamous Article 11) that contains her potential solution to some of those problems indicates the problems still need a solution.

On April 11, 2019, I sent the following email to Representative Gregg Amore

Representative Amore,

            My name is Joe Allen, a retired CCRI Professor.

            The current debate over Article 11 provides an opportunity for me to resubmit a recommendation to restructure RI higher education.

            In 2011, I attended nearly all hearings of the House Commission on Public Higher Education Affordability and Accessibility. (I’m not sure if Rep. Diaz remembers me, but she is the only member of that commission still on Smith Hill.)

            My views can be found at my newly created blog site, Joe Allen – Seeking truth, praying for peace, and doing math in retirement. There are two posts that describe the problems and the solution with links to supporting documents. The other posts are related to specific CCRI problems.

            Please share this with all legislators who consider education the lifeblood of citizenship and professional development. I know my “brother in academic arms”, Steve Forleo, favors the People’s College model, but Rhode Island needs a new model. As I told some folks before I left, it’s time to remove sentimental attachments and provincial personal loyalties; it’s time to understand and solve problems.

            I appreciate your time and dedication to Rhode Island.

Sincerely,

Joe Allen, Ph.D.

Professor, CCRI (retired)

Representative Amore never replied or even acknowledged receipt of the email. Although this is a busy time of year, a professional courtesy acknowledging receipt would have been appreciated.

The posts, Saving Higher Education in Rhode Island: A Potential Solution and Saving Higher Education in Rhode Island: Problem and Solution contain some thoughts on reshaping and redefining higher education in my home state (California is just my final resting place). As I stated in an email to former representative Frank Ferri, “Note that the document is a work in progress. Details are still fairly limited, but there should be enough information to get some heated discussions going.” (i.e. the document Restructuring Higher Education in Rhode Island)

At some point, Rhode Island needs to realize that a diversity of views outside its politically-connected inner circle is essential to solving Rhode Island’s problems. It needs to move past the prescient claim of Melancton Smith (27 June 1788): “… As for Rhode Island, I do not mean to justify her – She deserves to be condemned – If there were in the world but one example of political depravity, it would be hers. And no nation ever merited or suffered a more genuine infamy, than a wicked administration has attached to her character.” [The Anti-Federalist Papers].

“Good night and good luck” [Edward R. Murrow]

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