PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — Leaders from the City of Providence and Brown University convened at City Hall on Thursday, Oct. 12, to formally sign agreements that establish Providence’s four colleges and universities among the nation’s most generous voluntary financial contributors to the city in which they operate.
Mayor Brett P. Smiley, City Council President Rachel Miller and Brown President Christina H. Paxson each signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) outlining a set of financial commitments from Brown to the city. Through that agreement and a separate memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the city and all four colleges and universities, Brown will contribute nearly $175 million in direct voluntary payments over the next 20 years.
In total — through the two agreements approved by the City Council on Oct. 5 — Brown University, Johnson and Wales University, Providence College and the Rhode Island School of Design will contribute $223.5 million in direct payments to the city from 2024 to 2043, as well as annual community contributions valued at a total of an additional $177.5 million.
The approval and execution of the agreements followed months of research, engagement and collaboration between the mayor’s office and four higher education institutions. In brief remarks at Thursday’s event, Smiley said he considers the agreements to be one of the most significant accomplishments during his first year in office and a model partnership that can serve as a precedent for other city leaders across the country.
“It was really important… that not only were we able to reach an agreement that was meaningfully better and more generous, but one that could be held up as a national model,” Smiley said. “That’s what we believe we accomplished here. I look forward to getting phone calls from colleague mayors around the country and hearing from others to say, how did you do it in Providence?”