We are Bryant!, say local employees
We are Bryant!, say local employees
As residents - and taxpayers - of the Town of Smithfield and current employees of Bryant University, we urge Smithfield's elected officials to cease their attacks on the university and their insistence that Bryant pay additional funding to the town.
We are proud of what Bryant does for the town where we live - and there is a long and measurable history of direct outreach and support for Smithfield and our fellow residents. First and foremost, Smithfield receives almost $500,000 annually from the State of Rhode Island because it is home to a tax-exempt institution, Bryant. Smithfield High graduates receive almost $300,000 in scholarships and financial aid annually from Bryant, including one full-tuition four-year scholarship for an academic leader from the senior class. Bryant has enabled the Smithfield schools to expand their curriculum to include Chinese language and culture at all levels, and Bryant students devote hours of community service in our schools and other local institutions. Bryant hosts a variety of events for the town, including Smithfield High School graduation, athletic practices, and the town fireworks and Independence Day celebration.
More than 75 employees at Bryant call Smithfield home. In addition, over 600 graduates of Bryant live in Smithfield. Our university - Bryant - is a nexus for continuing and executive education, national symposia like the Women's Summit, World Trade Day and the Global Supply Chain Management. Our campus is also home to healthy local activities for children, like Kids Day Out, sports camps, and dozens of Bryant Bulldog Athletic team contests - many offered free to local school children.
During the academic year, September through May, Bryant is home to over 3,000 undergraduate and 500 graduate students - from 27 states and 54 countries. Their families stay in local hotels and visit local shops and restaurants. The students themselves buy locally, with daily runs to the Smithfield Commons, Apple Valley Mall and other venues in Smithfield. During the summers, businesses and national conferences converge on campus, putting Smithfield - and Bryant's beautiful campus - on the map.
As an employer, Bryant is a healthy institution because it is carefully run. During difficult economic times, the university has held back on tuition increases and frozen operating budgets. Mounting student debt is seriously burdening the future for our individual students and the nation, and Bryant works diligently to balance affordability and high quality education.
Bryant's long-term reach and reputation could be seriously harmed by current legislation to revoke our tax exempt status introduced by Sen. Stephen Archambault, Rep. Thomas Winfield, and Rep. Greg Costantino (of Lincoln). Would payments from Bryant decrease our taxes? We seriously doubt it. The April 9 Providence Journal editorial got it right when it stated "Trying to extract more money from Bryant University because it is thriving is ill-considered." We are proud to live in a university-town, and as Bryant's national presence grows, so does the positive image of Smithfield.
Respectfully submitted by members of Bryant University faculty and staff living in Smithfield including:
Brian Blais, Sandi Brenner, Brian Britton, Patrick Casey, Sue Colantonio, Diane Conlon, Carol Coronado, Ann Cote, Susan Curran, Cathy Currie, Susan Detri-Souve, Charlene Farley, John Garcia, Ted Garlacy, Theresa Garlacy, Patricia Gomez, Sheila Guay, Judy Kawamoto, Michael Kelly, Donna Klepadlo, Sheila Leonard, Karen Miller, Holly O'Donnell, Sue Palazzo, Stephen Perreault, Sue Pressler, John Rainone, James Segovis, Richard Siedzik, Bill Smith, Robin Warde, Mike Pressler and Patricia Miernicki.