1.1 Mission Statement of Providence College
Providence College is a Catholic, Dominican, liberal arts institution of higher education and a community committed to academic excellence in pursuit of the truth, growth in virtue, and service of God and neighbor.
Providence College was founded in 1917 by the Dominican Friars at the invitation of Bishop Harkins to provide a Catholic education in the arts and sciences.
Faith and Reason
Providence College is confident in the appeal of reason, believes that human beings are disposed to know the truth, and trusts in the power of grace to enlighten minds, open hearts, and transform lives. Providence College maintains that the pursuit of truth has intrinsic value, that faith and reason are compatible and complementary means to its discovery, and that the search for truth is the basis for dialogue with others and critical engagement with the world.
Providence College is committed to academic excellence, and holds itself to the highest standards in teaching, learning, and scholarship. Its core curriculum addresses key questions of human existence, including life’s meaning and purpose, and stresses the importance of moral and ethical reasoning, aesthetic appreciation, and understanding the natural world, other cultures, and diverse traditions. Providence College honors academic freedom, promotes critical thinking and engaged learning, and encourages a pedagogy of disputed questions.
Community and Diversity
Providence College seeks to reflect the rich diversity of the human family. Following the example of St. Dominic, who extended a loving embrace to all, it welcomes qualified men and women of every background and affirms the God-given dignity, freedom, and equality of each person. Providence College promotes the common good, the human flourishing of each member of the campus community, and service of neighbors near and far.
Veritas and Providence
Providence College brings the eight-hundred-year-old Dominican ideal of veritas to the issues and challenges of today. It seeks to share the fruits of contemplation in an increasingly global and diverse society, and to praise and bless all that is good and vital in human endeavors. Providence College supports the Dominican mission of preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ to a new generation of students and helping them discover God’s providence in their lives.
1.2 The Statement of the Objectives of the College
The official Statement of the Objectives of Providence College, as approved by the Board of Trustees, develops the concept of the College’s mission in greater detail. The educational objective of Providence College embraces the whole person: the intellectual, spiritual, moral, aesthetic, social, and physical development of each student.
The liberal education which the College offers is characterized by academic excellence through quality teaching and scholarship; the integration of the study of the individuals, ideas, and cultures that have shaped the contemporary world in a common liberal arts core curriculum; and rigorous attention to the humanities, the sciences, the social sciences, the visual and performing arts, and the exploration of new technologies.
Such a learning experience also promotes the development of skills that stand the test of time in any professional or civic setting: the ability to reason well, to examine sources critically, to reconcile opposing points of view, to seek and respect the truth, to appreciate beauty and human expression, and to write and speak effectively.
Members of the faculty are men and women who possess the highest academic and teaching credentials and who display an uncommon commitment to serve students, inside and outside the classroom. They will strive to instill in students a love of learning and a desire to expand their learning through such possibilities as independent research, study abroad, internships, and fine arts performances.
Providence College seeks to accomplish these goals within the atmosphere provided by the unique Catholic intellectual and spiritual tradition of the Dominican Order, which spans nearly eight centuries. Welcoming qualified men and women students of all religious and ethnic backgrounds, the College promotes the pursuit of sound scholarship and the principles of the Judeo-Christian heritage.
In this spirit, the College encourages students to explore the philosophical, theological, spiritual, and moral implications of the academic issues they address and the social problems they ponder. Because the College recognizes that the unity of the human family stems from the Creator, it strives to fashion a community which both affirms the dignity, freedom, and equality of each person and recognizes and celebrates human differences.
The College also urges the members of its community to engage in service projects or volunteer efforts designed to meet the needs of the less fortunate or disadvantaged who live beyond the confines of our campus. The College has facilitated these efforts by forging a number of partnerships with local churches, corporations, schools, and community agencies.
The goal of a Providence College liberal education is to prepare its graduates to possess general and disciplinary knowledge, an understanding of the importance of community, a respect for the religious traditions they have inherited, and an awareness of the role of faith in the acquisition of knowledge, the growth of personal self-identity, and the development of ethics and values informed by the teachings of Catholicism and the Dominican Order.
1.3 The Corporation and the Board of Trustees
Providence College’s governance structure is a two-tier system comprised of the Corporation of Providence College (“Corporation”) and the Board of Trustees of Providence College (“Board”). The Corporation acts under a charter approved by the General Assembly of the State of Rhode Island in 1917 and with by-laws amended June 30, 1992 (see Policy and Informational Documents for the Faculty of Providence College). The Corporation has complete legal responsibility for the College and has powers vested in it to control the ownership of assets, to authorize the execution of College contracts, to elect and remove Corporation and Board members with certain exceptions, to accept or reject the Board’s recommendations for election to the College’s Presidency, and to adopt and amend its by-laws. The Corporation consists of twelve members, which include the Roman Catholic bishop of the Diocese of Providence, the president of the College, the provincial of the Province of St. Joseph, Order of Preachers, four Dominican Friars elected by the Corporation, and four lay persons elected by the Corporation.
The Board is charged with the governance of the affairs of the College not otherwise reserved to the Corporation.
Board members serve a fiduciary role and number from 25 to 35, including the members of the Corporation and the treasurer of the College, who serve ex officio. There are currently twelve standing committees of the Board, of which one, the Academic Affairs Committee, has two faculty representatives elected by the Faculty Senate.