As part of a campaign to “Respect RIC,” Rhode Island College (RIC) faculty held an informational picket outside the entrance to the college on Mount Pleasant Avenue Wednesday morning. On their website faculty members, organized under the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) 1819, write:
“Too often recently RIC has been ignored when the state budget is developed. URI has benefited from its status as the state’s largest public research university, and most recently CCRI was given a massive boost with RI Promise, which directed many students who might otherwise have benefited from a four-year RIC education to attend CCRI. This means that RIC’s budget has suffered… and departments have found themselves making the best of a very bad financial situation.”
The informational picket centered on three main issues:
- Wages: RIC faculty are paid 17 percent less than faculty at peer institutions nationwide and 30 percent less than faculty at the University of Rhode Island (URI). “Our students deserve faculty who are fairly compensated,” say RIC faculty, noting that “URI faculty have for years been paid national averages for institutions of their sort.”
- RI Promise: RIC Faculty want RI Promise, a “last-dollar scholarship” that fills in the gap between other aid and the actual costs of tuition and mandatory fees, to be extended to RIC. Right now, only Community College of Rhode Island (CCRI) students are eligible. As noted above, RI Promise directed many students to CCRI who may have otherwise chosen RIC. Beside the issue of “crushing student debt” RIC faculty maintain that, “supporting the junior and senior years of Rhode Island students makes a lot of sense. Enrollment drops off after the first two years as families run out of money, and students will have already demonstrated their abilities to succeed by staying on track in their first two years.”
- YES on 2: If passed, the Higher Education Bond Ballot Question will finance needed renovations in Rhode Island colleges. RIC, specifically, will be able to upgrade and renovate Horace Mann Hall, where the school educates teachers. “If Rhode Island wants the best teachers,” writes RIC faculty, “they need the best education for those teachers, and spaces to model the best teaching techniques.”
Can we please ask a favor?
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