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      Governor appoints Mancuso as interim commissioner of higher ed

      Eva-Marie Mancuso

      Gov. Lincoln Chafee on Friday appointed Eva-Marie Mancuso as interim commissioner of higher education.

      Mancuso currently serves at chairwoman of the state Board of Education.

      The administrative structure for higher education in Rhode Island is in a state of flux.

      The General Assembly merged the boards for higher education and elementary and secondary education and at the same time dissolved the Office of Higher Education as of July 1, 2014.

      The combined board must draft a permanent administrative structure for higher education.

      Chafee said in a statement that Mancuso would serve as interim commissioner while the search for a full-time higher education commissioner is under way.

      Mancuso said as interim commissioner of higher education she's looking forward to working with the presidents of Rhode Island's three state-run schools: the Community College of Rhode Island, Rhode Island College and the University of Rhode Island.

      Ray Di Pasquale served as interim higher education commissioner for four years. He will remain president of the state's community college system.

      Mancuso is a former prosecutor who previously served on the Governors Board.

      The Associated Press contributed to this report.