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For Immediate Release: Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Contact: John Taraborelli, 401-456-8977

Providence, RI – Rhode Island College President Frank D. Sánchez today announced the appointment of Helen Tate, Ph.D. as the school’s new Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. Her appointment is effective today.

Tate brings to Rhode Island College nearly 30 years of teaching and academic leadership, with an emphasis on modernizing instructional delivery, enhancing academic operations, and increasing faculty resources. Most recently she served as Provost and Executive Vice President at Wingate University in North Carolina, where she worked with faculty to develop a university-wide shared governance model, secured grant funding for faculty professional development to improve outcomes for underserved students, developed an academic program review process, and scaled academic services for a 17 percent increase in enrollment over three years.
Prior to Wingate, Tate served as Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs and Professor of Communication at Georgia Southwestern State University, where she was responsible for student support and success initiatives, as well as international programs and partnerships. Notably, she led efforts to improve first-year retention by 12 percent while significantly increasing the credit hours successfully completed by first-year students.
An active member of the National Communication Association, Tate earned her doctoral degree in speech communication from Indiana University and her master’s and bachelor’s degrees in speech communication from Idaho State University. Raised in the western states of Idaho, Montana and Utah, she has lived in the southeast for the past 20 years.

“Helen Tate’s track record of investing in the academic community, ensuring the use of high-impact practices for student success, and effectively adapting to an ever-changing higher education environment make her the ideal provost to chart our future academic endeavors,” said Sánchez. “Her success and innovation with improving student degree completion rates and incorporating technology to enhance faculty and student academic support systems is particularly impressive.”

Tate succeeds Sue Pearlmutter, who served as the college’s chief academic officer for the last two years. 

About Rhode Island College
Rhode Island College is a regional comprehensive public college that serves approximately 8,500 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral students through its five schools: The Faculty of Arts and Sciences, the Feinstein School of Education and Human Development, the School of Business, the School of Nursing and the School of Social Work. Established in 1854, it is Rhode Island’s first public institution of higher education. 

The college is located on a beautiful 180-acre suburban campus in the vibrant city of Providence, and has satellite locations at the Rhode Island Nursing Education Center in Providence’s Innovation District and the Rhode Island College Workforce Development Hub in Central Falls, RI. Rhode Island College is known throughout the Northeast for its 200 high-quality academic programs, small class size, personalized, hands-on learning experiences, world class faculty, and high value compared to other four-year institutions. For more information, visit