Updated: Feb 2, 2022
RIC President Frank D. Sánchez will not seek a third term as president of the college. Sánchez’s contract for his second term will end on June 30, 2022.
“It is with profound appreciation and admiration for the students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends of Rhode Island College, I am announcing today that I have informed the Council on Postsecondary Education that I will not seek a third term as President of Rhode Island College,” Sánchez said in a statement. “My time with the RIC community has been an extraordinary and life changing experience that has been incredibly gratifying and left me with a tremendous sense of pride. It has been an honor to work together with our RIC community, the Council on Postsecondary Education, two Governors, the general Assembly and our community partners to move this remarkable institution forward over my six years as President.”
This announcement may have surprised some in the RIC community. Sánchez’s decision comes during a tough time for colleges like RIC throughout the country in the midst of COVID’s Omicron variant spike. Later in Sánchez’s statement, he did express optimism for the future of RIC. “This is a fitting time for the college and I to make these transitions. The college is poised for not just a bright but a brilliant future as it builds new programs and broadens its reach to serve an increasingly diverse Rhode Island community.”
The same sentiment is echoed by the Chairman of the Council on Postsecondary Education, Timothy J. DelGiudice. “President Sanchez is leaving Rhode Island College, a much stronger institution than the one he inherited. Through improved academics and community partnerships, Rhode Island College is well positioned to provide Rhode Island students with the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in today’s economy. On behalf of the Council, we enjoy working with Dr. Sanchez and wish him well in his future endeavors,” DelGiudice told The Anchor.
Calls to select RIC Alumnus Congressman Jim Langevin (RI-02) ‘90 to be the next president of the college came after Sánchez’s announcement. It would not be the first time a former member of Congress became president of a higher education institution in the state. Former Congressman Ronald Machtley, who represented Rhode Island’s First Congressional District, served as Bryant University’s seventh president from 1996 to 2020. One of the points made for the case to select Langevin as Sánchez’s successor is a combination of his continuous involvement with RIC and that he is an alum.
However, the qualifications to become RIC’s president requires a PhD, which Langevin does not currently hold. For Langevin to become president, the college would have to change the rules.
A selection for the next president is expected to be made quickly with DelGiudice telling The Anchor, “The Council on Postsecondary Education is actively working to assemble the Presidential Search Committee, once the search committee is in place the process to identify the next President of Rhode Island College will move quickly. Based on the search that was recently completed at the University of Rhode Island we expect to have [a] new president in place this summer.”