PROVIDENCE, R.I. – At its meeting on Wednesday, May 11, 2016, the Council on Postsecondary Education named Frank D. Sánchez, Ph.D., as the new president of Rhode Island College. The Council’s vote concludes a five-month search process that began with over 40 applicants from across the nation.
Sánchez, vice chancellor for student affairs at the City University of New York (CUNY), was one of four candidates recommended for the position by an 11-member presidential search committee that included representatives from the RIC faculty, staff and student body, as well as council members and community leaders.
Sánchez would succeed Nancy Carriuolo as RIC’s tenth president.
Bill Foulkes, Chair of the Council on Postsecondary Education, who also served as Chair of the RIC Presidential Search Committee, said that the search process yielded four extremely qualified, diverse candidates. “While it was a difficult decision, we selected Dr. Sánchez because of his commitment to students. Specifically, we were impressed with his track record in implementing effective student success and enrollment management initiatives as well as his history of leadership in supporting innovative teaching and learning efforts while expanding financial resources for students. The council feels confident that Dr. Sánchez will have an equally positive impact on RIC students, while creating opportunities for Rhode Island College to play a broader role in the community.”
Sánchez earned his B.S. in psychology from the University of Nebraska, his M.S. in student affairs and higher education from Colorado State University and his Ph.D. in higher education administration from Indiana University.
For over 20 years, Sánchez has advanced teaching and learning by supporting innovative public-private partnerships, student services, programs, policies and external funding aimed at increasing student success and degree completion. Since 2011 Sánchez has provided university-wide leadership for CUNY’s 24 distinct colleges, educating 500,000 students within the largest urban, public university in the United States. He has also partnered with the Robin Hood Foundation and Single Stop USA to expand access to legal and financial counseling, tax preparation, health insurance and other benefits for the university’s most financially vulnerable students. In four years, the financial resources allocated to CUNY’s students grew from $11.8 million to $40 million.
Sánchez was appointed to Colorado Governor Bill Ritter’s P-20 Education Taskforce in 2008 and, in 2015, was appointed to the New York State Board of Regents Workgroup to Improve Outcomes for Boys and Young Men of Color. Prior to moving to CUNY, Sánchez served as associate vice chancellor for student affairs at the University of Colorado Denver and as the vice president for student affairs at Adams State University. During his tenure at Adams State, the graduation rates for Hispanic students improved from 15 percent to 51 percent in three years. Sánchez is also a member of the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NAPSA) Board of Directors and is the Chair of the NASPA Taskforce on Program Review.
The committee has worked diligently to solicit and incorporate feedback from the RIC community regarding the search process and has hosted multiple public forums on the topic. Based in part upon this feedback, the job description for the next president prioritizes visionary leadership, strong communication skills and a commitment to campus-wide diversity and cultural proficiency. The president will also be expected to marshal the instructional and support resources required to improve student outcomes.
Ligature Partners, the executive search agency assisting with the RIC presidential search, conducted an extensive national outreach that resulted in more than 40 applications for the position. Upon reviewing these applications, Ligature proposed 12 candidates for the committee’s consideration. Of these candidates, 10 were interviewed by the search committee. Following these initial interviews, four finalists were selected.
The Council on Postsecondary Education hopes to install the next president prior to the start of the fall semester. After President Nancy Carriuolo’s steps down on May 21, Interim Vice President for Advancement at RIC Clark Greene has been appointed to serve as the college’s interim president.
Established in 1854, Rhode Island College serves approximately 9,000 undergraduate and graduate students through its five schools: the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, the Feinstein School of Education and Human Development, the School of Social Work, the School of Management and the School of Nursing. For more information, visit www.ric.edu.