University News

Taveras reaches deal with Brown, hospitals

President Ruth Simmons, Gov. Lincoln Chafee ’75 P’14 and Providence Mayor Angel Taveras will announce the conclusion of months-long negotiations regarding the financial relationship between Brown and the city of Providence at a press conference tomorrow morning, according to a press release this afternoon. 

Taveras also reached what he called a “groundbreaking” deal with Lifespan, a health system that oversees several Rhode Island hospitals, in which the nonprofit will pay the city $800,000 every year for the next three years, according to WPRI.

The negotiations between the University and Providence were revealed in January, when Brown’s initial rejection of city demands was made public. In February, Taveras announced that Providence could face bankruptcy in June if the city’s nonprofits do not come to its aid. Since then, discussions between Taveras, Simmons and University administrators have continued. Simmons previously declared her intention to conclude discussions before she steps down in June.

Keep checking back for updates.

  • ConcernedAlum

    Waiting for the details, but this is a deplorable precedent for a resources-strapped university. A city that has been grossly mismanaged for decades by liberal politicians and is in the death-grip of unsustainable public union pension and health/welfare obligations that are the product of the symbiotic relationship between those liberal politicians and the unions asks Brown to pay for the city’s egregious financial mistakes. Uber-liberal Brown learns that, when it comes to hyper-inflated, public employee giveaway programs, there is no free lunch. How ironic. The fact that recent reports indicate that the city negotiated only the most modest of concessions from the unions to reduce the future cost of the union pension benefit scam makes the university’s agreement all the more distasteful. The city has not by any means freed itself from the grip of the unsustainable pension and health/welfare benefit obligations that are bringing it to its financial knees. It will have its hand out again . . . soon.

  • Anonymous

    As an alum of our fabulous University, you seem to be very critical of the liberal principles that allow it to be the inviting, creative space that it is. The history of Providence is one thing I do know a little about, and by talking to actual people employed by the state, you get a sense that their living standards are far below those who graduated from Brown. As far as I hear, if you have graduated with a “practical” concentration, jobs are handed to you. Now imagine being stuck in a city that is experiencing the type of urban decay that a massive amount of New England cities have and still do simply because their industrial base has relocated or withered. As an enrolled student whose family hovers around the national poverty line and often experiences shortages of money, I would say try living with the salary of a state employee, and try not going bankrupt if you have to have even the most minor of medical procedures or need an expensive prescription. Try scrambling for the future when you know you very well may not get the social security you pay into, and that your pensions can be cut. Try thinking like you were born without the privileges that we both share.

  • Realist

    If the Mayor can make structural reforms in the city pension and system and other budget cuts, and if the City of Providence will permit Brown to expand both on the East Side and the Jewelry District, plus support infrastructure improvements in the city, then perhaps there are opportunities for Brown in this proposal to achieve its longer term goals. As for the Brown students and faculty who supported these additional payments, they should not complain over the next several years if financial aid, faculty salaries and other university priorities are adversely affected (which they will be). Rhode Island state and local government probably employs 1/3 of the entire RI workforce. That is the state’s fundamental problem. It has a bloated political class/public union system that gets favors from the politicians in exchange for votes. Hopefully this cycle will end as the economic system to support this unravels — witness the Central Falls bankruptcy. Then Brown and Providence can continue to thrive.

  • Anonymous

    @ConcernedAlum. I agree that the civic culture of Providence (and North Providence, and East Providence, and Pawtucket) is nauseating — the inevitable result of criminal city governments, racketeering unions, and a moronic self-victimizing electorate. But I object to your putting the word “liberal” in front of all of this. Northern Rhode Island’s awfulness isn’t political. It is human. If the populations of, say, Iowa and northern Rhode Island were to swap places, this state’s problems would disappear.

  • Anonymous

    Seems the deal is terrible. Brown should have gotten more land, more streets, more parking, more Jewelry district, maybe some of City Hall, etc. But of course the state seemed poised to start a process of taxing Brown at 25% of assessed value, that is, some one billion, which probably would have translated into more like (what is the rate? for property?) 15 or 20 million yearly. So, Simmons caved. I like above anonymous alum, good writing, the whole state is mostly cretins scamming morons. Unfortunately even this deal will no doubt be “revisited” when the payments go to 2 million, revised up say to 8 million, if there is a state rather than just a pension system.