1.10.10 Education Act of 1981. On May 7, 1981, the State of Rhode Island enacted "The Education Act of 1981" establishing a Board of Governors for Higher Education. The general assembly, at that time, found and declared it to be in the best interest of all of our citizens "to establish a board of governors for higher education which shall have the duty and responsibility of: (1) formulating and implementing a master plan for higher education in the state, (2) determining fiscal priorities among and eliminating unnecessary duplication between the various public institutions of higher learning, (3) setting standards, supervising and evaluating results and promoting maximum efficiency and economy in the delivery of higher educational services in the state." (See Title 16, Gen. Laws R.I., 1956, as amended by Chap. 59, 16-59-1, 1981.)
1.10.11 The legislature in establishing the Board of Governors for Higher Education further stated that "said board shall be protected from sudden changes in membership and reversal of policy by having staggered terms for its public members." (See Title 16, Gen. Laws R.I., 1956, as amended by Chap. 59, 16-59-1, 1981.)
1.11.10 Organization and Composition. The Board of Governors for Higher Education is composed of fifteen members: twelve public members appointed by the Governor, one of whom shall be designated as chair, a full-time student in good standing at the University of Rhode Island, Rhode Island College or the Community College of Rhode island, the chair of the Board of Regents for Elementary and Secondary Education, the chair of the Senate Finance Committee or designee and the chair of the House Finance Committee or designee. In the selection and appointment of the members of the board, the Governor "shall seek persons who best serve the entire needs of the state. Public members shall not be appointed for more than two successive three year terms each..." The chair may be a member as long as s/he serves in that capacity. (See Gen. Laws R.I., Chap 59, 16-59-1 and 16-59-2, 1981 and reenactments through 1993).
1.12.10 Authority. The General Statutes of the State of Rhode Island which relate to the University of Rhode Island and the authority of the Board of Governors for Higher Education stipulate that the Board of Governors "is constituted a public corporation, empowered to sue and be sued in its own name, to have a corporate seal, and to exercise all the powers, in addition to those hereinafter specifically enumerated, usually appertaining to public corporations entrusted with control of educational institutions and functions...the Board of Governors is hereby made successor to all powers, rights, duties and privileges formerly belonging to the Board of Regents for Education pertaining to Postsecondary Education." (See Gen. Laws R.I., Chap. 59, 16-59-1, 1981 and reenactments through 1993).
1.13.10 Powers and Duties. The Board of Governors for Higher Education shall have in addition to the powers and duties cited previously additional powers and duties enumerated in Section 16-59-4 of the Education Act of 1981 as amended by the Appropriations Act of 1981 and further amended by reenactments through 1993. (See Appendix A for delegation of powers.)
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