SMITHFIELD, RI – The Hassenfeld Institute for Public Leadership at Bryant University recently collaborated with the Rhode Island League of Cities and Towns (League) and the Rhode Island Association of School Committees (RIASC) to host the Newly Elected Leaders Orientation. The virtual conference, held January 8-9, provided over 120 municipal and school leaders the opportunity to learn essential skills, exchange ideas with peers, and explore the unique challenges within public service. Attendees came from all over the state, representing municipal and school officials from all 39 cities and towns.
“In the midst of the global pandemic, the role of the Newly Elected Leaders Orientation is more timely than ever."
“In the midst of the global pandemic, the role of the Newly Elected Leaders Orientation is more timely than ever,” said Gary Sasse, Founding Director of the Hassenfeld Institute. “This year’s event, while digital, emphasizes crisis management to better prepare local leaders for the unique challenges of their upcoming term.”
“From the day they are sworn in, school committee members have decisions to make that have far-reaching effects on students, teachers, and municipal budgets. It is critically important that they have practical training on the most pressing issues and laws impacting them,” said Timothy C. Duffy, Executive Director of the R.I. Association of School Committees.
“Our public leaders are facing unique, pressing challenges this year due to COVID-19,” said Brian Daniels, Executive Director of the R.I. League of Cities and Towns. “This orientation provides new officials with legal and ethical training, and opportunities to analyze and solve local challenges with their peers. We are proud to partner with RIASC and the Hassenfeld Institute to prepare officials in local government with the skills needed to lead effectively on behalf of Rhode Island’s taxpayers.”
The program explored practical issues faced by municipal leaders, including financial oversight, roles and responsibilities, leadership, and conflicts of interest. The conference was led by top faculty from Bryant University and experienced public leaders with subject area expertise, such as the R.I. Office of Attorney General, R.I. Department of Revenue, and R.I. Ethics Commission.
This is the fifth biennial conference that the League and the RIASC have partnered with the Hassenfeld Institute to provide this training to new Rhode Island local officials.
About the Hassenfeld Institute
The Hassenfeld Institute for Public Leadership provides public officials and others involved in the development, management, and execution of public policy with the tools, skills, and knowledge necessary to make informed decisions and manage responsive organizations in order to lead effectively.
About the Rhode Island Association of School Committees (RIASC)
RIASC is a non-profit organization dedicated to developing the effectiveness of RI School Committee members in meeting their role and responsibilities in promoting student achievement in safe and challenging learning environments, while playing a leading role in shaping and advocating public education policy at the local, state and national levels.
About the Rhode Island League of Cities and Towns
Founded in 1968, the Rhode Island League of Cities and Towns is a municipal membership organization that serves as the unified voice of local government in Rhode Island.
About Bryant University
For 158 years, Bryant University has been at the forefront of delivering an exceptional education that anticipates the future and prepares students to be innovative leaders of character in a changing world. Bryant delivers an innovative and uniquely integrated business and liberal arts education that inspires students to excel. With approximately 3,800 graduate and undergraduate students from 38 states and 49 countries, Bryant is recognized as a leader in international education and regularly receives top rankings from U.S. News and World Report, Bloomberg Businessweek, Forbes, and Barron's. Visit www.Bryant.edu.