Distributed June 7, 2003
News Service Contact: Mark Nickel
Ruth J. Simmons
New agreement nurtures and sustains Brown’s relationship with city
On Thursday, June 5, 2003, Mayor David Cicilline and the presidents of Brown University, Johnson & Wales University, Providence College and Rhode Island School of Design announced an unprecedented financial agreement which will provide Providence with nearly $50 million in voluntary contributions over 20 years. The text of President Ruth J. Simmons’ announcement to the campus community follows here.
June 7, 2003
Dear Brown faculty and staff,
I write today with good news about the University’s relationship with the City of Providence.
As you may know, Brown and the three other Providence-based private, nonprofit colleges and universities have been negotiating with the city for many months. We have been working to arrive at an agreement on how our four institutions can be helpful to the city in an economic climate that is difficult for us all. We made it clear from the beginning that any agreement must fully respect our status as tax-exempt institutions and not compromise our ability to advance our own educational missions.
I am pleased to report that we have achieved exactly such an agreement. Shortly before noon on Thursday, the four presidents joined Mayor Cicilline at a news conference to outline provisions of the plan. They include:
Brown University and the City of Providence have sustained each other since before the American Revolution. Brown’s efforts on behalf of the city are well-known to most of you:
All of that has been underway for decades and will continue above and beyond the provisions of our new agreement. Brown also has a more direct fiscal impact on the state and city, totaling $22,225,000 in 2001-02:
Brown generates more than $400 million in total economic output for Rhode Island every year, a far greater proportional impact than most of our peer institutions have on their host states.
Throughout these negotiations with the city, we have been mindful of the University’s need to sustain its own programs, and we are aware of the special efforts that will be required to meet this new obligation.
I am very hopeful that the agreement we announced this week will accomplish the difficult goal of sustaining the University’s mission while at the same time allowing it to nurture and extend the mutually supportive relationship it has enjoyed with the city for so many years.
The successful conclusion to these questions was the result of the diligent efforts of a wide array of community leaders, staff and Corporation members. I am grateful to all of them for their hard work. Finally, I wish to express our gratitude to our colleagues at RISD, Providence College, and Johnson & Wales University for the spirit of collegiality that helped us work together to bring about this outcome.
Ruth J. Simmons