§ 16-59-1. Council on Postsecondary Education established.
(a) There is created a council on postsecondary education, sometimes referred to as the "council," which shall be and is constituted a public corporation, empowered to sue and be sued in its own name, and to exercise all the powers, in addition to those specifically enumerated in this chapter, usually appertaining to public corporations entrusted with control of postsecondary educational institutions and functions. Upon its organization, the council shall be invested with the legal title (in trust for the state) to all property, real and personal, now owned by and/or under the control or in custody of the board of regents for education for the use of Rhode Island college, the community college of Rhode Island and the system of community colleges of Rhode Island, including all departments, divisions, and branches of these.
(b) The council is empowered to hold and operate the property in trust for the state; to acquire, hold, and dispose of the property and other like property as deemed necessary for the execution of its corporate purposes. The council is made successor to all powers, rights, duties, and privileges formerly belonging to the board of regents for education pertaining to postsecondary education and the board of governors for higher education.
(c) The council shall be the employer of record for Rhode Island college and the community college of Rhode Island and the office of postsecondary education. It shall retain all authority formerly vested in the board of education regarding the employment of faculty and staff at Rhode Island college and the community college of Rhode Island.
(d) The council shall be the governing body for the Rhode Island division of higher education assistance and shall retain all authority formerly vested in the higher education assistance authority board of directors pursuant to § 16-57-7; however, any debts, liabilities, or obligations of the council that result from its status as such governing body shall be payable solely from the revenues or assets of reserve funds set forth and established by the prior Rhode Island higher education assistance authority and/or the Rhode Island division of higher education assistance created pursuant to chapter 57 of this title, and not from any assets or property held by the council on public higher education pursuant to this chapter.
(e) The council on postsecondary education shall be the employer of record for the division of higher education assistance.
(f) The council on postsecondary education, simultaneous with the transfer of authority to the university of Rhode Island board of trustees pursuant to § 16-32-2, shall enter into a sublease with the university of Rhode Island board of trustees for the space the university currently occupies at the Rhode Island nursing education center in Providence, Rhode Island, such sublease being coterminous with the lease and incorporating the same terms, conditions and space allocations currently in effect under the lease, and P.L. 2014, ch. 145, art. 4, § 8, and that certain memorandum of understanding dated January 7, 2017, among the Rhode Island office of postsecondary commissioner, the university of Rhode Island and Rhode Island college.
(g) The council is empowered to enter into contracts and agreements with the board of trustees for the university of Rhode Island and/or the department of administration related to public higher education employee benefits, including, but not limited to, retirement benefits, health, dental, vision and life insurance, disability insurance, workers' compensation, and tuition waivers to maximize the state's and council's purchasing and investment portfolio and educational opportunities for the benefit of its employees.
(P.L. 1981, ch. 32, § 3; P.L. 1987, ch. 596, § 3; P.L. 1993, ch. 178, § 1; P.L. 1999, ch. 48, § 1; P.L. 1999, ch. 124, § 1; P.L. 2005, ch. 117, art. 21, § 17; P.L. 2006, ch. 8, § 1; P.L. 2006, ch. 28, § 1; P.L. 2014, ch. 145, art. 20, § 5; P.L. 2015, ch. 141, art. 7, § 7; P.L. 2019, ch. 88, art. 9, § 6.)