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URIF Statement on Davos - World Economic Forum

Posted January 21, 2016

To the Board and trustees:

As you know, last week, the URI Foundation was asked by Governor Raimondo’s staff if it could provide financial support for travel costs associated with the Governor’s attendance at the Global Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.  The Governor’s office thought to ask because the UConn Foundation had provided similar support for Connecticut Governor Malloy.  

With a strong belief that her attendance would advance the work of URI as well as the economic interests of the state, the URI Foundation agreed to cover travel costs up to $10,000.   Since that time, a number of URI donors and alums who strongly support the mission of the University and the work of state leadership to accelerate economic growth have nonetheless expressed their disagreement with such a use of Foundation funds. 

My responsibility as Chair of the Foundation is to provide thoughtful, effective and responsive stewardship of the resources entrusted to our care.  I made a mistake in not considering the range of perspective our donors might have and I am sorry for that.    

Due to the threat of severe weather, the Governor is not attending the Summit after all and the URI Foundation will recover all support that had been extended.

Everyone involved in this decision had the best of intentions, but I will redouble my commitment to representing all URI Foundation stakeholders and will contemplate changes to ensure a more thoughtful consideration of their perspective in the future.


Lorne A. Adrain
Executive Board Chair


The Foundation's initial statement highlighting the value of the trip to URI, dated 1/15/16