Schools

Rhode Island ends consultant’s $76,000-a-week contract with R.I. College

The contract was apparently never put out to bid.

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PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — The state is canceling a $76,000-a-week contract given to a consultant to review Rhode Island College’s finances after state lawmakers questioned its need and why it never went out to bid.

The contract with Alvarez & Marsal started Dec. 14 and was scheduled to run until Feb. 28, but the state Council on Postsecondary Education, the Office of the Postsecondary Commissioner and the Department of Administration announced that it would end Thursday.

“The firm will provide a report on the work it completed and any preliminary findings reached,” the statement said.

A spokesman for the agency said the incoming administration of Lt. Gov. Daniel McKee will work with the Council on Postsecondary Education and the school to figure out the next steps.

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The firm was hired to look at the college’s finances and overall operations in light of the coronavirus pandemic.

The school announced in the summer that is was facing a budget shortfall of more than $10 million and in response would cut executives’ pay, lay off workers, and freeze hiring.

Democratic state Rep. William O’Brien said the money could have been better spent on student scholarships.

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