President of Rhode Island College to step down

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PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — The president of Rhode Island College on Thursday said she would resign at the end of the school year, a decision she made after some faculty and staff asked that she be fired from the public institution.

Nancy Carriuolo announced her decision in a letter she emailed to the college community. Several faculty and staff members had criticized her leadership in a letter last month to the state's Council on Postsecondary Education, which oversees RIC. Another group of faculty and staff responded in support of Carriuolo.

"As we are all aware, recently the campus community has voiced a very public mixture of support and criticism of my time at RIC," Carriuolo wrote. "I cannot ignore the fact that the college community is divided. Consequently, for the sake of the college, the Postsecondary Council and I have agreed that I will step down as president after spring graduation."

Carriuolo became the ninth president of the school in July 2008. Prior to joining RIC, she worked at the Rhode Island Office of Higher Education and the University of New Haven in Connecticut.

Fourteen faculty, staff and former staff members wrote to the council in November to complain that Carriuolo was not paying close attention to school finances, did not collaborate with appropriate staff and would fire or penalize people based on rumors, and other problems. But more than 50 faculty and staff responded with a letter saying Carriuolo "has been and continues to be an excellent leader."

A call made to Carriuolo's office to request comment Thursday was referred to the Council on Postsecondary Education.

Council chairman Bill Foulkes said in a written statement the council was grateful for Carriuolo's work, including improvements to the campus.

"The council is eager to find a leader who can build on President Carriuolo's work and advance the college's mission," he said.

A search for her replacement will begin next year.

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