McNamara named chair of NEBHE advisory panel


Rep. Joseph M. McNamara (D-Dist. 19, Warwick, Cranston) has been named the chairman of the Legislative Advisory Committee of the New England Board of Higher Education (NEBHE).

The Legislative Advisory Committee was formed as part of the NEBHE last fall in an effort to more actively involve regional state legislators in the activities of the board and to allow New England lawmakers to share with their counterparts from other states the various educational priorities and initiatives of their individual states, including best practices and other programs.

McNamara, who is also a member of the board of directors of the NEBHE, is one of four Rhode Island legislators invited to participate in the Legislative Advisory Committee. The others are Sen. Hanna M. Gallo (D-Dist. 27, Cranston, West Warwick), Sen. Harold M. Metts (D-Dist. 6, Providence) and Rep. Joy Hearn (D-Dist. 66, Barrington, East Providence).

The New England Board of Higher Education promotes greater educational opportunities and services for the residents of New England by engaging and assisting leaders in the development and implementation of sound educational practices; by promoting policies, programs and best practices, and by promoting regional cooperation and programs that encourage the efficient use and sharing of educational resources.

One of the most successful programs of the NEBHE is the Regional Student Program (RSP) Tuition Break, which provides a significant tuition discount to Rhode Island residents when they enroll at public campuses in other New England states to pursue specialized degree programs not offered by their own state colleges or universities.

Since 1958, NEBHE’s program has saved Rhode Island residents an estimated $135 million in current dollars. In FY 2014, 1,200 Rhode Island residents enrolled under the RSP Tuition Break and saved an estimated $6.6 million on their annual out-of-state tuition bills.

During the 2013-14 academic year, 84 residents of McNamara’s House District 19 saved an estimated $531,000 on their out-of-state tuition bills because of the RSP program.

McNamara, who is the chairman of the House Committee on Health, Education and Welfare, is serving his 10th term in the House of Representatives. He is also a member of the House Committee on Environment and Natural Resources and the Joint Committee on Healthcare Oversight.

Further information about the NEBHE and its various programs can be found on the website at


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