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Blue Ribbon Commission: Leona Kelley Papers

Scope & content

Represented herein is a small fragment of the records of the Special Legislative Commission to Study the Funding of Public Higher Education in Rhode Island, Including the Compensation of Faculty, also known as the Blue Ribbon Commission. Specifically, the collection consists of the papers of one member of the Commission, Representative Leona Kelley of South Kingstown. Since it contains the papers of only one of the eight commissioners, it is far from a complete record of the deliberations of the Blue Ribbon Commission. Still, the papers obtained herein have value as a microcosm of the Commission’s work and as an indicator of the kinds of information it received and of the issues with which it dealt.

The Kelley Papers were donated to the Special Collections Department of the University of Rhode Island Library in the summer of 1987 by Leona Kelley, a member of the Blue Ribbon Commission. They were in no particular order when received and there are obvious gaps in the collection which could only be filled by having the official records of the Commission. The records were arranged by the Special Collections staff in a Subject series alphabetically by subject or title.

Among the most significant items in the collection are the agenda and minutes of the Commission meetings, transcripts of testimony before the Commission, research reports and other data relationg to higher education which were given to the individual commissioners, drafts of various sections of the Commission report, and the final report issued by the Commission and entitled “Toward Excellence Without Extravagance.” This 150 page document is the final product of the deliberations of the Blue Ribbon Commission and contains its findings and recommendations.