Educational Equity Policy
The Board of Governors for Higher Education recognizes that Rhode Island as a state and the United States of America as a nation are composed of individuals with roots from throughout the world and that the state and nation are composed of many racial and ethnic groups. The co-existence of these diverse individuals and the full participation of these groups is, and should be, viewed as a positive factor in our pluralistic society.
Despite the recognition that full access of all people and groups to education opportunities and full participation of these groups in education experiences are desired goals, the Board recognizes that certain individuals and groups have not been afforded the opportunity to participate fully and thereby reach their maximum potential.
Minority groups, women, and handicapped persons have found that entry and participation in certain programs and activities have been difficult. Their exclusion and lack of participation are causes of concern which must be responded to in an efficient and positive fashion.
- The Commissioner of Higher Education is charged with ensuring that the educational policies and practices of the public higher education institutions approved by the Office of Higher Education adhere to both federal and state laws, regulations and executive orders regarding nondiscrimination and affirmative action.
- Furthermore, the Board accepts its responsibility to provide leadership in promoting nondiscrimination and equal educational opportunity and shall require the public institutions of higher education to actively and aggressively pursue programs and activities designed to remove any existing barriers to the provision of equal education opportunity.
- The president of each public higher education institution is charged with the responsibility for developing and implementing programs and activities designed to foster education equity, including programs for increasing the recruitment and retention of minorities, women and handicapped persons. The commissioner is responsible for the development and promulgation of any additional regulations and guidelines necessary to achieve the purpose of the foregoing policy.
- The commissioner is charged with the responsibility for implementing this policy and imposing the appropriate sanctions or penalties required to ensure compliance subject to the approval of the Board of Governors.
- The Office of Higher Education shall provide assistance, to the extent possible, to education agencies in the development and implementation of programs designed to provide equal educational opportunities.
The Board of Governors for Higher Education undertakes this action and adopts these policies not because it is required to do so, but because it is right and proper to do.