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Introduction

Pre-DRAFT

12.01.10   draft

KEEPING THE RISD FLAME ALIVE AND STRONG IN THE 21ST CENTURY November 30, 2010 Dear Faculty, Strategic Planning Group Members, and Staff Council Executive Committee,

This is a preliminary draft.

This draft document is the product of a year of discussions, deliberations, and research in which so many among you have participated. It has been truly inspiring to watch our community work together and to observe the process unfolding organically. With this strategic plan as a guide our priorities as an institution are clear, we have greater awareness of our resources, and by incorporating both these pieces we can be responsive to the dynamic shifts in our world. We are sharing this preliminary draft to help contextualize the academic focus areas, statements, goals and objectives put forward by the Core Group for discussion at the Faculty Meeting and subsequent Faculty Congress. I am happy to oblige the suggestion from the Deans, the Core Group and the Faculty Steering Committee to share this document, but need to underscore that you are seeing it in a very early form and there are many sections that have yet to be fleshed out. The next version you will receive in January will include details about the budget process and the allocation or reallocation of resources according to the prioritized academic and operational initiatives. The Cabinet will also have suggested by then the concrete actions that will improve the operational areas. In addition, the final draft version will clarify and make explicit the interrelationship between the academic and operational initiatives. While there is still a significant amount of work for us to do, I’d like to point out that the work of putting this plan together has been going on for over a year and you will find much of what is referred to in this draft in letters, documents and videos that have been shared with the community over the last year. They are all available on the President’s website: http://risd.cc/strategic-plan-background There will also be a period to gather feedback from faculty, students and staff. After careful consideration of the community’s critique, the Cabinet and Councils will make further refinements prior to distributing the final draft in mid-January. The plan has three main directions:

Our faculty lead the intellectual vision of our institution as strongly discipline-based. Addressing operational infrastructure will save everyone time, and help our students.

I believe in the strength of our faculty, staff, and students, and especially in the collective vision of RISD’s faculty.

• Building on our existing academic strengths. Continuing our strong disciplinary focus within the departmental curriculum structure that ultimately results in mastery of a field—a distinguishing feature and rite of passage in a RISD education. At the same time, we hope to enable students to explore crosscurricular options and other educational experiences with fewer impediments than exist today. • Building IT and financial systems to finally take control of our tuition costs. • Building adequate student development and support systems that have been neglected over the last two decades despite our increased number of students.

Thomas Friedman recently wrote in the New York Times about the need for our country to make difficult choices, to be pragmatic and to focus our attention on infrastructure building so as to sustain our supremacy in the long run. I feel that RISD is facing similar challenges for similar reasons. Attending to these operational initiatives is long overdue which is why I’ve chosen to address them as they arise and in some cases, in advance of academic planning. As a former professor, I respect the freedom our faculty require to pursue their intellectual endeavors in the studio and classroom, and the intent of my administration remains to support their important work with our talented students. By focusing on the strength of our disciplines and by improving and aligning our operational systems to achieve greater accessibility and diversity, we advance our educational quality, our financial stability, and our relevance to art and design in the world for many years to come. Thank you, John Maeda, president


Overview [ 1 ]

Pre-DRAFT

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OVERVIEW

For well over a century, RISD has been the preeminent institution in art and design education. To ensure another century of leadership, we must solidly position ourselves for the future and we can only do so by having a strategic plan to strengthen our academic core while enriching opportunities for our students.

table of contents

Overview Process Mission, Vision, Strategy RISD Today: A Snapshot The World Today: A Snapshot Academic Vision Teaching & Learning Discovery & Knowledge Local & Global Core Operations Vision Core Operations in Motion Next Steps and Timeline

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

This forward-looking process has included studying the history of RISD’s long-range planning activity, the past and present conditions of our city and state, and looking to our founding to understand the context in which Mrs. Helen Metcalf’s vision manifested itself as the Rhode Island School of Design.

Mrs. Helen Metcalf, Founder

President Maeda was charged by the Board of Trustees to launch a strategic planning effort that would envision, develop, and prioritize institution-wide efforts to fulfill its mission. The President and Provost, working with the Cabinet, designed a process that would be flexible, inclusive, broadly participatory, and integrated with a comprehensive financial plan. This five year strategic plan from 2011-2016 will be both affirmational and aspirational, will take financial realities into account from the outset, and aims to be operationally and financially grounded throughout its implementation.


Process [ 2 ]

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october 2009 introduction of a five-year

past plans and other significant evaulation

summer 2010 A group of 23 faculty,

strategic planning process for RISD and a basic framework with Critical Thinking/ Critical Making as RISD’s intellectual core.

reports were considered to provide the context and situate the current planning work. The documents reviewed include: Lee Hall plan (1980), Tom Schutte plan (1984), Roger Mandle plan (1997-2001), Museum Accreditation report (1999), Provost Joe Deal’s Academic Plan (2000), NEASC/ NASAD Accreditation report (2006), Museum strategic plan (2007), Maguire report (2007), and Provost Jay Coogan’s Draft Academic Plan (2008), and Ad Hoc Budget Committee Final Report (2009).

students and staff met to analyze the areas of convergence and draw out key threads from the work of the Core Group and the Area Working Groups, conduct further research including internal and external assessments, and propose strategies for continuing the work of planning in the fall.

Four other themes were designated based on a groundswell of interest from different parts of the RISD community, and/or a fertile connection to innovation in the world at large. All of them explicitly strengthen our core. The strategic planning groups were formed around these themes to investigate specific areas related to the core curriculum: • Critical Thinking/ Critical Making - Core Group: The most fundamental work of the College, including the core academic programs, structure, and curriculum. • Life At/After RISD: Learning the skills of living and leading. • Sustainability and the Environment: Using art and design to save our earth.

spring 2010 From January to May more

than 70 faculty, staff and student members of the Core Group and Area Working Groups met approximately eight times. Groups began with a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Strengths) or other similar analytical framework, to “make questions,” to define areas of inquiry and identify broad themes that would be the focus of their research and discussions.

The Summer Planning Group arrived at a new framework for organizing goals and objectives developed by the Core and Area Working Groups and mapping them to the three main elements of RISD’s mission: teaching + learning, research + discovery, and service + engagement. The group presented its work to the combined membership of the Core Group and the Area Working Groups on September 20 and at the October faculty meeting. At this point, the work of the Area Working Groups concluded. fall 2010 Throughout the fall, the Core

• Health care and Wellness: Responding to our fragility and humanity. • Local and Global Engagement: Being in the world, near and far. In the fall, the President and Cabinet, in consultation with representative groups worked to build the cross-functional teams for the Core Group and four Areas Working Groups. Each group was co-chaired by a Dean and a faculty and/or staff member, and included elected faculty, staff and students.

This work was presented to the Board of Trustees at the February meeting to engage in conversation on the work of the groups and receive input on preliminary ideas. Throughout the spring, progress updates were presented at meetings of the faculty, staff council, and of both student alliances. A monthly strategic planning newsletter was distributed with summary updates on the process and two community conversations were held in March. The four subgroups of the Core Group as well as the four Area Working Groups presented their draft goals and objectives at the faculty meeting and Board of Trustees meeting in May. Throughout the spring, administrative areas also began the process of determining operational priorities in part to address longstanding inefficiencies and in order to be responsive to the academic goals that emerge from the Core and Area Working Groups.

Group performed more extensive research to outline areas of strategic priority and develop possible recommended actions. The completed plan will be presented to RISD’s Board of Trustees in February 2011, and will cover the period from July 2011 until June 2016.


Mission, Vision, and Strategy [ 3 ]

Pre-DRAFT

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risd’s original founding mission (1877)

vision

• First. The instruction of artisans in drawing, painting, modeling, and designing, that they may successfully apply the principles of Art to the requirements of trade and manufacture.

Our mission today remains true to our founding vision of 1877—to educate students in art and design. Every aspect of RISD is devoted to advancing the understanding of art and design, for undergraduate, graduate, pre-college, and continuing education students, the K-12 students of the Rhode Island public schools, and our greater community of Southern New England.

• Second. The systematic training of students in the practice of Art, in order that they may understand its principles, give instruction to others, or become artists. • Third. The general advancement of public Art Education, by the exhibition of works of Art and of Art school studies, and by lectures on Art. risd’s updated mission (2006)

The mission of the Rhode Island School of Design, through its college and museum, is to educate its students and the public in the creation and appreciation of works of art and design, to discover and transmit knowledge and to make lasting contributions to a global society through critical thinking, scholarship and innovation.

RISD largely desires to preserve its singular character and keep its relatively small community intact while increasing diversity, enhancing existing disciplinary strength and academic rigor, improving academic permeability, and staying faithful to the tenets of art and design, education, and critique. In the vision for RISD’s next strategic plan, we acknowledge the excellence of the parts—while seeking to improve how they relate to the whole student in three ways: supporting faculty development as teachers and innovators in curriculum development, realizing curricular and co-curricular learning as working in concert, and improving operations to support teaching and learning. Our overarching strategy is to recognize, enhance and build upon the unique qualities that have given RISD its distinctive advantage for the last century while developing the agility to respond to a changing world.

our distinct advantages are numerous history:

33 years of teaching, learning, and exhibiting in art and design. tradition:

RISD represents a respect for skilled execution and thoughtful process. disciplines:

RISD remains committed to disciplinary depth and rigor, and to maintaining respect for traditions while building upon its existing strengths. foundation studies: Each undergraduate is

introduced to the College through a year-long immersion in Foundation Studies which is designed to introduce experimentation, research, and visual and critical inquiry through drawing, 2D- and 3D-design. liberal arts: Through

our programs in History, Art History, English and the Social Sciences, our students develop literacies and competencies in reading, writing, speaking, analytical, research, and critical thinking skills, that deepen their art-making and encourage a holistic creative process. museum: The

RISD Museum is a multi-faceted collection of international importance and a leading cultural resource for the city, state and region. The community and college come together to experience art and to be inspired by its permanent collection and exhibitions. Through its programs, our Museum emphasizes the nature and context of art making, conveys the vitality of the creative process and links to RISD’s vibrant culture of innovation to stimulate creative thinking more broadly. providence:

RISD’s history is inextricably linked to Providence’s history. Providence is culturally rich, accessible, relatively affordable and offers many opportunities for civic engagement, as well as collaboration with other local institutions of higher education. reputation:

Our reputation as the leading institution in art and design education has attracted the best faculty, students, staff and museum visitors for over a century. Today, it has expanded beyond art and design into creative leadership and social entrepreneurship.


RISD Today: A Snapshot [ 4 ]

Pre-DRAFT

students/faculty/staff Fall 2010

o Undergraduate students: 1975 o Graduate students: 431 o Full-time Faculty: 136 o Part-time Faculty (est.): 400 (head count) o Staff (FT and PT): 456 o Faculty/Student ratio: 1:8.9

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Fall 2010 o 38% of students received institutional aid o $13,667 average amount of grant financial aid

in the news

museum

o 84,000 objects, housed in 5 buildings o In 2009-10, Museum had 20 exhibitions, hosted over 300 RISD classes with over 6000 RISD students (including repeats) o Schoolchildren hosted: 16,000 library

o 145,000 volumes and 380 periodical subscriptions o Noted for artist’s book collection o Visual resources: 165,000 slides, 500,000 images in picture collection, 2500 videos continuing education 2010

o 697 courses were taught by 300 faculty to over 5,000 students. facilities

o 45 buildings (80% on the National Register of Historic Places) o 378,370 net square feet of academic/ instructional facilities o 11,688 net square feet of student service facilities o 1,400 beds

o Professor: 82 o Associate Professor: 36 o Assistant Professor: 15

(Q1 2010-11)

o 1,053 articles on RISD o 50 of these articles ran in international publications

academic programs

o 13 degrees in 19 majors (3 UG only majors and 3 GR only majors) o RISD is the #1 top producing Fulbright institution in its category for 2010. o US News in 2008 ranked RISD #1 Graduate school in fine art specialty category.

faculty members by rank 2009-10

students

o Percentage of undergraduate students from the Northeast: 45.88%, South: 7.37%, Midwest: 7.22%, Southwest: 14.54%, Northwest: 3.25%, International: 21.75%. o Percentage of graduate students from the Northeast: 44.76%, South: 5.48%, Midwest: 7.86%, Southwest: 11.43%, Northwest: 4.52%, International: 25.95%. o 34% male; 66% female o Multi-ethnic: 3.68%, American Indian: 0.14%, Asian: 14.53%, Black: 1.65%, Hispanic: 4.32%, White: 35.42%, International: 18.18%, Undeclared: 22.08%. undergraduate enrollment x major 2009

Apparel Design: 82 Architecture: 133 Graphic Design: 199 Interior Architecture: 39 Industrial Design: 200 Landscape Architecture: Furniture Design: 52 Ceramics: 9 Film/Animation/Video: 87 Glass: 12 Illustration: 274 Jewelry + Metalsmithing: 39 Painting: 109 Photography: 55 Printmaking: 61 Sculpture: 43 Textiles: 89

faculty members by gender 2010

o full-time faculty 57.35% male, 42.65% female o part-time faculty 55.8% male, 44.2% female faculty ethnicity 2010

o full-time faculty White: 86.03%, Black (non-Hispanic): 1.47%, Hispanic (unidentified): 2.21%, Asian: 8.82%, Alaskan Native: .74%, Other (non-Hispanic): .74% o part-time faculty White: 89.5%, Black (non-Hispanic): 1.10%, Hispanic (unidentified): 3.59%, Asian: 3.59%, Alaskan Native: .55%, Other (non-Hispanic): 1.66% staff by gender 2010

o exempt staff 39.89% male, 60.11% female o non-exempt staff 46.27% male, 53.73% female staff ethnicity 2010

o exempt staff White: 88.3%, Black (non-Hispanic): 4.26%, Hispanic (unidentified): 1.06%, Hispanic (other): .53%, Asian: 4.79%, Other (non-Hispanic): 1.06%. o non-exempt staff White: 85.09%, Black (non-Hispanic):6.83%, Hispanic (unidentified): 4.66%, Hispanic (other): .62%, Asian: 1.55%, Other (non-Hispanic): .93%) trustees 2009

34 Trustees o Gender: 59% male; 41% female o Ethnicity: White: 94%, Black: 3%, Asian: 3%


The World Today: A Snapshot [ 5 ]

Pre-DRAFT There are countless external forces at work that have a significant impact on RISD’s future directions. A STEEP (Social, Technological, Environmental, Economic, Political) framework provides a structure for understanding conditions and circumstances that compel us to think realistically about what we must address in our current planning effort. social and cultural factors

In 2009-10, the number of international students in the US increased 2.9% over the previous year to 690,923 students.

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technological factors

economic factors

75% of American teens between 12 and 17 own a cell phone, 63% of teens go online everyday and 66% use their phones to send and receive text messages.

More than ever, student debt is a painful reality when college tuition and fees continues to outpace median family income and the cost of medical care, food and housing.

Pew Research Center: Pew Internet and American Life Project

The Chronicle of Higher Ed.: The Almanac of Higher Ed., 2010-11

Today’s high school students see their educational futures built entirely around technology and expect the use of mobile computing devices to extend learning and web 2.0 tools in their daily instruction.

In 2010, the average combined federal and private loan debt for a RISD undergraduate student was $35,994 (with estimated monthly payment over a 10-year period of $414, and over a 25-year period of $249). For graduate students the average debt was $82,352 (monthly payment over 10-year period of $947 and over 25-years of $459).

Chronicle Research Services: The College of 2010: Students

Institute of International Education, Open Doors 2010, Fast Facts.

environmental/ecological factors

In 2008-09 there were 260,327 US students studying abroad for credit, more than double the past decade. Institute of International Education, Open Doors 2010, Fast Facts.

In fall 2009, 431 international students representing 42 countries were enrolled at RISD, comprising 18.26% of our total enrollment. RISD Office of International Programs, Fact Book 2010

A decline in college-age students is predicted between 2010 and 2020. Population Division, US Census Bureau

Minorities, now roughly one-third of the US population, are expected to become the majority in 2042, with the nation projected to be 54 percent minority in 2050.

RISD Office of Financial Aid

Over 90% of consumers say they would purchase sustainable products, and that 40% of the world’s waste comes from torn down buildings so that building new LEED certified buildings is only half the problem World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2010

In a national survey of freshmen entering college in 2009, 26.0 % of students in baccalaureate institutions considered involvement in programs to clean up the environment essential or very important to their college experience and 41.6 % considered adopting “green” practices to protect the environment similarly important. Cooperative Institutional Research Program at the Higher Education Research Institute at UCLA: The American Freshman: National Norms for 2009

political factors

Policymakers and the public have broadened the scope of accountability in higher education and expect institutions to provide more information on student completion rates, access, student learning, cost-effectiveness and productivity. Association of Governing Boards, Top Policy Issues 2009-2010

In addition, state and federal policymakers expect more from higher education governance – more transparency, higher levels of engagement in institutional issues, and greater assurances of institutional accountability for both fiscal stewardship and academic success.

Population Division, US Census Bureau

Association of Governing Boards, Strategic Imperatives, 2009

College location and geographic spread of its influence and recruiting area, as the most significant factors in determining its flow of enrollees in the next decade.

Locally, we face the constant threat of taxation by the state of Rhode Island and the city of Providence that could cost as much as $2 million for combined property subject taxation and the so called “Student Head Tax.” Per the current memorandum of understanding with the city of Providence, in 2010 RISD made a voluntarily MOU payment of $170,627 plus $550,000 in property tax.

Chronicle Research Services: The College of 2010: Students

New England and the northeastern states (where RISD has traditionally recruited most heavily) have shown the least population growth, and will see a consistent decline the number of high school graduates of about 1% per year. The Chronicle of Higher Ed.: The Almanac of Higher Ed., 2010-11

Office of Government Relations, 2010.


Summary of Strategic Planning Focus Areas, Statements, Goals and Objectives [ 6 ] page six, 12.01.10   draft

education : Teaching

and Learning

research :

Discovery and Knowledge

engagement :

Local and Global

Disciplinary depth and rigor are central to the RISD education and key factors in attracting the best students and faculty. At the same time the complexities of the 21st century demand not only singular expertise but also the ability to work effectively across disciplinary boundaries. We need to do more to prepare our students to compete and contribute in this changing landscape of opportunities, challenges, and multiple roles and work for artists and designers in society.

We understand research at RISD as a vehicle for intellectual and creative discovery and innovation, as a vital foundation for the development of the curriculum and for the enhancement of the overall teaching and learning experience, and as one of the principal means through which we expand the bases of our disciplines and also fulfill our responsibility to contribute to public knowledge in a climate of accelerating change. For RISD to take full advantage of the rapidly growing opportunities in this area, we need to enhance existing support and resources and build new systems for stimulation, coordination, and oversight of research activities across campus.

From its inception RISD has been committed to meaningful public engagement. Today we define this engagement as a form of ethical responsibility, as a way specifically to give back to our local communities, and as a way to identify, shape, and respond to emergent demands for innovation in art and design worldwide. To fulfill the promise of our founders, and to advance our educational mission, we need to increase access to and coordination of local and global engagement opportunities, and to the extent possible, better align these opportunities with the college curriculum.

Goal. Develop greater openness and flexibility in the academic program without compromising RISD’s immersive disciplinary-based education

Goal. Strengthen the institutional culture and build a coordinated infrastructure for a sustained commitment to research

Goal. Make engagement with community and the world more integral to a RISD education

Objectives:

Objectives:

Objectives:

to create opportunities for ongoing

to increase

RISD’s capacity for the discovery, development, and contribution of knowledge

to increase access to an expanded array of

discourse, programs, and initiatives around pedagogy, teaching, and learning

to advance inquiry in art, design, architecture,

both international and domestic off-campus experiences and programs that are closely connected to the educational objectives of the disciplines

to increase interdisciplinary and collaborative

and the liberal arts

courses and programming

to promote greater cross-disciplinary

to increase engagement with contemporary

collaboration

issues across disciplines

to increase opportunities for faculty to

to enhance support for faculty development

to cultivate diversity in curriculum,

conduct research within their fields, across disciplines, and with partners from other institutions, organizations, and agencies.

pedagogy, and campus culture

to increase opportunities for graduate and

to prepare students for professional practice

undergraduate students to build researchbased skills and competencies

of new curricular initiatives

to offer greater student choice and agency to support educational development of life

(and navigational) skills to develop a coordinated approach to

facilities and upgraded technologies in relation to curricular advances

to foreground research as a central

component of graduate education at RISD to expand networks and professional

opportunities for students and faculty to enhance opportunities for curriculum and

facultydevelopmentthroughexternallyfunded research RISD’s research activities and contributions to public knowledge more visible internally and externally to make

to expand and diversify opportunities for both

students and faculty to learn about, participate in, and contribute to the public realm through service and engagement activities at the local, national, and international levels RISD’s reputation as a leader in the critical discourse about the public role of art and design to enhance


Rationale and Possible Actions for SP Focus Areas [ 7 ] page seven, 12.01.10   draft education :

Teaching and Learning

Disciplinary depth and rigor are central to the RISD education and key factors in attracting the best students and faculty. At the same time thecomplexitiesof the21stcenturydemandnot only singular expertise but also the ability to work effectively across disciplinary boundaries. We need to do more to prepare our students to compete and contribute in this changing landscape of opportunities, challenges, and multiple roles and work for artists and designers in society. Goal. Develop greater openness and flexibility in the academic program without compromising RISD’s immersive disciplinary-based education Objectives: to create opportunities for ongoing discourse, programs, and initiatives around pedagogy, teaching, and learning to increase interdisciplinary and collaborative

Why:  Past institutional plans, the NEASC & NASAD Joint Visitor’s Report (2006), the 2008 Report of the Academic Policies Sub-Committee on Interdisciplinary Studies, the Final Report of the AHBC (2009), and innumerable cross-constituent conversations in the past year have all pointed to the desire and need to promote greater collaboration among departments, increased opportunities for interdisciplinary study, and greater choice for students in fulfilling the requirements for a RISD degree. These joint calls for openness and flexibility have in no way suggested diminishment of RISD’s disciplinary emphasis or of the development of our disciplinary bases. Rather, they advocate for greater flexibility in departmental curricula and increased programmatic support for interdisciplinary study, especially at the undergraduate level, as a way to enhance disciplinary depth and rigor.

are usually very popular, but few in number. Students are required to take studio courses outside of their majors (NMSEs), but access to other departments’ courses outside of Wintersession can be problematic, as preference is often given to majors enrolling in the same courses. Finally, there is simply a great imbalance across the sixteen undergraduate departments in numbers of seats made available to non-majors. Several structural barriers to greater access and flexibility have been identified in the strategic planning process, including restrictive degree and major requirements that exceed NEASC and NASAD standards for accreditation, lack of resourcing, lack of space and facilities for interdisciplinary and shared curricula, and the limitations imposed by current scheduling (academic calendar and class schedules). Discussion has also centered on the potential versus the current reality of Wintersession.

Where we are now:  Our Independent and Collaborative Study (ISP/CSP) options fulfill for many students the desire for self-directed — and often interdisciplinary — study, as does the option of enrolling for classes at Brown. However, our Interdisciplinary Study Option (ISO), which provides for individually designed plans for crossdepartmental coursework that can count toward major requirements, is rarely used and not made visible in student advising. RISD does not offer studio minors, but there is an option for a double major, interest in which has been growing, but as it requires in most cases at least one extra year of study, it is unaffordable for the majority of our students. We currently offer concentrations in the areas of each of the three Liberal Arts departments, and have just begun to explore the possibility of interdisciplinary concentrations (e.g., in sustainability) that would require coursework in several departments. Cross-listed courses are one other area where students from different departments work alongside and interact with one another, and stand-alone courses, such as those supported by the Kyobo Fund,

Possible Actions: reconsideration of current academic structure, including but not limited to distribution of degree and major credit requirements in relation to accreditation standards at the graduate and undergraduate level

courses and programming to increase engagement with contemporary

issues across disciplines to enhance support for faculty development

of new curricular initiatives to cultivate diversity in curriculum,

pedagogy, and campus culture to prepare students for professional practice to offer greater student choice and agency to support educational development of life

(and navigational) skills to develop a coordinated approach to

facilities and upgraded technologies in relation to curricular advances

development of shared or “common

curriculum” inside/outside departments (e.g., “Physics of Environment” taught by ARCH, but open to students from all departments) increased support for faculty development

of innovative and interdisciplinary courses/ programs increased resourcing of departments

for both disciplinary and interdisciplinary curriculum development better alignment of the RISD and Brown

academic calendars re -evaluation of Wintersesssion to better

meet identified desired programmatic goals support for pilot projects that respond to

objectives and goals in this area; that are potentially scalable, and sustainable; and some of which might be able to be implemented in the short term


Rationale and Possible Actions for SP Focus Areas [ 8 ] page eight, 12.01.10   draft research :

Discovery and Knowledge

We understand research at RISD as a vehicle for intellectual and creative discovery and innovation, as a vital foundation for the development of the curriculum and for the enhancement of the overall teaching and learning experience, and as one of the principal means through which we expand the bases of our disciplines and also fulfill our responsibility to contribute to public knowledge in a climate of accelerating change. For RISD to take full advantage of the rapidly growing opportunities in this area, we need to enhance existing support and resources and build new systems for stimulation, coordination, and oversight of research activities across campus. Goal. Strengthen the institutional culture and build a coordinated infrastructure for a sustained commitment to research Objectives: to increase RISD’s capacity for the discovery, development, and contribution of knowledge to advance inquiry in art, design, architecture,

and the liberal arts to promote greater cross-disciplinary

collaboration to increase opportunities for faculty to

conduct research within their fields, across disciplines, and with partners from other institutions, organizations, and agencies to increase opportunities for graduate and

undergraduate students to build researchbased skills and competencies to foreground research as a central

component of graduate education at RISD to expand networks and professional

opportunities for students and faculty to enhance opportunities for curriculum and

facultydevelopmentthroughexternallyfunded research to make RISD’s research activities and

contributions to public knowledge more visible internally and externally

Why:  RISD takes seriously its obligation to contribute to public knowledge. As one of the premier institutions of higher education in art and design in the world, we are in an ideal situation to advance local and national agendas for art and design, and, through expanded connections to external partners and audiences, position RISD as an intellectual and creative leader in emerging areas of art and design research and education. The strength of our disciplinary focus depends on a longstanding commitment to curriculum-based research and support for individual faculty development in teaching, scholarship, and creative practice. With the growth of our graduate programs over the last decade, an increasing interest in partnered studios, the evolving expertise and outward focus of our faculty, and recent successful applications for significant federal grants, we have many opportunities to build capacity and develop new models for research in art and design at RISD in both curricular and co-curricular areas. These new models for research would enable RISD to further develop and advance art and design practices that integrate with current critical areas of knowledge production, such as Environmental Sustainability, Health and Wellness, STEM to STEAM, Visualization and Modeling, Materials Research, and Education. In building a sustainable, coordinated research infrastructure, we will be able to more fully realize benefits from partnerships with other institutions of higher education, non-profit organizations, industry, and government. We would further enable interdisciplinary exploration and collaboration, and would also benefit from new forms of support for faculty curriculum and research initiatives through external funding sources. Where we are now:  RISD has a long and rich history of support for research, in the form of individual faculty grants for professional development and academic enrichment, support for Museum research on the collections and for special exhibitions, partnered studios with industry and non-profit organizations, and externally sponsored project-based research that might happen on or off campus. These activities have been supported through a variety of institutional offices and personnel. However, this work has never been consolidated in a way that makes its full scope visible to internal and external audiences and coordinated in a

way that more fully matches faculty, staff, and student demand with institutional capacity. The creation of the Partnered Research Working Group in 2008 is one example of how the dedication of faculty and staff resources to the development of sustainable institutional support and coordination can benefit and advance research at RISD. Over the past seven years, we have averaged between 8-10 partnered studios per year, and this work now takes place across the Architecture, Design, and Fine Arts disciplines on a regular basis. In recent years we have also significantly increased our externally funded research portfolio with ongoing grants from NASA, the NEA, EPSCoR and other initiatives with the NSF, SBA, and others. We need to remain committed to building the appropriate infrastructure to better manage these awards and to support and cultivate further both individual and collaborative research activities.

Possible Actions: create a comprehensive record of past and current research practices and methodologies at RISD. identify, prioritize, and coordinate specific

areas of research at RISD (e.g., Sustainability and Health/Wellness) using EPSCoR and other model initiatives,

build sustainable platforms for transdisciplinary research in areas of priority develop infrastructure (including policy, faculty

training and support) for enhancing federally sponsored research capacity. explore opportunities for shared infrastructure

and collaboration with partner institutions review role of research in graduate programs

and how research activity can be better integrated into curriculum. identify and address major barriers to faculty

research develop clear criteria for documenting

research activities and making methods and models more visible to internal and external audiences support for pilot projects that respond to

objectives and goals in this area; that are potentially scalable, and sustainable; and some of which might be able to be implemented in the short term


Rationale and Possible Actions for SP Focus Areas [ 9 ] page nine, 12.01.10   draft engagement :

Local and Global

From its inception RISD has been committed to meaningful public engagement. Today we define this engagement as a form of ethical responsibility, as a way specifically to give back to our local communities, and as a way to identify, shape, and respond to emergent demands for innovation in art and design worldwide. To fulfill the promise of our founders, and to advance our educational mission, we need to increase access to and coordination of local and global engagement opportunities, and to the extent possible, better align these opportunities with the College curriculum. Goal. Make engagement with community and the world more integral to a RISD education Objectives: to increase access to an expanded array of both international and domestic off-campus experiences and programs that are closely connected to the educational objectives of the disciplines to expand and diversify opportunities for both

students and faculty to learn about, participate in, and contribute to the public realm through service and engagement activities at the local, national, and international levels to enhance RISD’s reputation as a leader in

the critical discourse about the public role of art and design Why:   RISD has had an outward focus from the time of its founding, but each generation has redefined how it connects with the world, both locally and globally. In the School’s first Circular of 1878, external engagement was envisioned as service to the immediate Rhode Island community and took the form of “public Art Education, by the exhibition of works of Art and of Art school studies, and by lectures on Art.” Today the idea of engagement has been greatly expanded to encompass global perspectives, in recognition of the inherently international scope of contemporary art and design and in acknowledgement of the critical and innovative roles that artists and designers now play in economic, social, and cultural development worldwide.

Where we are now:   There are several dimensions, through the Museum and the College and both within and outside of the curriculum, to RISD’s local and global engagement. Students, faculty and staff engage with neighboring Rhode Island communities through initiatives sponsored by the Office of Public Engagement, Project Open Door, Student Affairs, the RISD Museum, RISD Continuing Education and other individual and community partnerships. There are 25 to 30 courses annually, across all divisions that address issues of public concern and the responsibilities of global citizenship. And, we have several programs, such as Respond Design, RISE (RISD Initiative on Sustainability and the Environment), and Better World by Design, that provide hands-on opportunities for grappling with local and global challenges, especially in the areas of sustainability and community development. Equally essential to our development of critical citizenship and our global character are our international programs and the international composition of our student body. Our European Honors Program just celebrated its 50th year and now sends close to 50 students each year to Rome. An average of 38 students a year study overseas for a semester at one of our 45 partner institutions in 26 different countries; over 150 students a year participate in Wintersession Travel Courses to Europe, Latin America, Africa, Asia and the Pacific; and we enroll more international students proportionally than most of our competitor art and design schools. We clearly have a strong base of individual initiatives, programs, courses, and venues for local and global engagement. That said, currently only about 10% of our student body participates in RISD-sponsored international travel or study during their time here. Throughout the strategic planning process the strength of our existing international and public engagement programs has been emphasized, but with the understanding that if we are to fulfill our responsibility to educate informed and active citizens of the world, these opportunities need to be expanded, better coordinated and aligned with our educational mission, promoted more widely, and made more accessible to a larger number of students.

Possible Actions re -evaluate international exchange program agreements to focus on a reduced number of key partnerships that support specific educational goals indentify 2-3 more places in the world to

explore establishing a concentrated presence and develop projects and/or programs that build on current RISD expertise and interest provide resources to support development of

departmental and divisional initiatives to build international experiences into their curriculum establish scholarship funds for financial aid

students (including international students) to study/travel abroad explore increasing support for both existing

and new Wintersession and other travel courses explore how new technologies can enhance

and expand the kinds of international and other off-campus experiences that we can offer to our students develop a clear mission and organizational

plan for coordinated oversight, promotion, and facilitation of public engagement at RISD establish annual symposium or lecture series

on the public roles of artists and designers support for pilot projects that respond to

objectives and goals in this area; that are potentially scalable, and sustainable; and some of which might be able to be implemented in the short term


Core Operations Vision [ 10 ]

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page 10, 12.01.10   draft

I.T. & ADMINISTRATIVE SERVICES: Supporting our Work

STUDENTS & ENROLLMENT: Supporting our Students

DIVERSITY: Supporting our Community

Operations directly affects how well we can support teaching and learning on campus. We can significantly improve the quality of work life at RISD by addressing the longstanding “deferred maintenance” of our financial systems, our information technology systems, and our facilities.

RISD’s outstanding reputation has attracted the highest quality students for decades. In addition to quality of programs and faculty, young people today consider a host of other factors in choosing which college to attend, including cost, size, campus visit, services and amenities, and the ability to get jobs. Our ability to continue recruiting, admitting, and retaining the best students is dependent on how we respond to these and other environmental factors affecting student choice.

To better prepare our students for the world they are joining and shaping, RISD needs to better reflect that world. Past strategic plans have referred to the importance of building a diverse community of faculty, students and staff. We must recognize the importance of diversity in our rapidly changing world and commit ourselves to making diversity core and central to how we operate as an institution.

IT Goal. Develop an up-to-date IT infrastructure that better supports and facilitates the academic programs and studentrelated administrative functions, including underlying processes (admissions, enrollment, registration, advising, human resources, museum collection management, and institutional engagement/alumni). ongoing

Administrative Support Services Goal. Adopt and implement a framework for improving the quality, efficiency, and effectiveness of critical support services including budget processes to ensure students, faculty and staff can easily and quickly get the information, goods, and services they need in a timely manner and at the lowest cost.

Services Goal. Establish integrated enrollment services operation to set and meet our enrollment goals and to support more conscious academic program planning in each department and division.

ongoing

ongoing Facilities

& Sustainability Goal. Establish a clear process and timeline for the creation of a Campus Master Plan that includes space, facilities, and capital budget components and that aligns with principles for the sustainable development and operations of the RISD campus.

Institutional Diversity Goal. RISD will continue to increase diversity and create a supportive campus climate where faculty, staff and students represent and celebrate a broad, multi-dimensional concept of diversity to provide expanded perspectives that enrich creativity and understanding. ongoing

ongoing Enrollment

ongoing Scholarships

and Financial Aid Goal. Increase scholarships and funding for financial aid. Improve financial aid processing systems. ongoing Student

Services Goal. Design and enhance the complete student experience to provide adequate support systems, and ample opportunities for the development of life skills from recruitment to commencement.


Next Steps and Strategic Planning Timetable [ 11 ]

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page eleven, 12.01.10   draft

next steps

Documents from the academic planning process and all feedback from faculty, staff and students are presented to the President for consideration as the final complete draft of the Strategic Plan is prepared for presentation to the faculty for endorsement and the Board of Trustees for approval. strategic planning timetable november 2010–May 2011

November 24

Wednesday, Core Group SP Documents to Faculty with agenda for the Dec. 1 Faculty Meeting

December 1

Wednesday, Faculty Meeting SP Presentation

December 4

Saturday, Faculty Congress

December 8

Wednesday, SP presentation to combined Grad Student and Student Alliance Meetings

December 9

Thursday, SP presentation to Staff Council (feedback due December 14)

December 10

Friday, Feedback due from Faculty Meeting and Congress, and from students

January 7

Friday, Draft of complete Strategic Plan to Steering Committee, Core Groups, and Working Groups

January 19

Wednesday, Faculty Meeting agenda sent to Faculty with draft of complete Strategic Plan

February 2

Wednesday, Faculty Meeting, vote to endorse Strategic Plan

February 25–26

Friday/Saturday, Board of Trustee meeting, vote to approve Strategic Plan

March - May 2011

Development of implementation plan(s) to include tasks, timeframe, benchmarks, resource allocation, and

assignment of responsibility

July 2011-July 2016

Period covered by strategic plan


Strategic Planning Core and Working Groups page six, 12.01.10   draft

strategic planning

Core Group Spring 2010 Jessie Shefrin, Chair David Bogen, Co-chair Barbara Von Eckardt, Co-Chair Nate Barchus Dawn Barrett Deborah Bright Dennis Congdon William Decatur Susan Doyle Ken Horii Jan Howard Todd Moore Carrie Moyer Lane Myer Margot Nishimura Patricia Phillips Rosanne Somerson Paul Sproll Joanne Stryker Carol Terry Willem Van Lancker Isaac Wingfield Ann Woolsey strategic planning

Area Working Groups Health/Wellness Deborah Bright, Co-chair Anne Tate, Co-chair Babette Allina Christina Bertoni Steve Brustein Cathy Davis Jessica Fanning Leslie Fontana Brian Goldberg Maureen O’Brien Jennifer Prewitt-Freilino Elizabeth Mooney Peter Simon

Life@/After RISD Raj Bellani, Co-chair Joanne Stryker, Co-chair Anastasia Azure Jeffrey Bienvenido Peña Liz Collins Nick DePace Ginnie Dunleavy Christina Hartley Tony Johnson Rebecca King Alicia Lew Mike Mergen Naomi Mishkin Ed Newhall Patrice Payne Sarah Pease Wendy Seller Judith Tannenbaum Toussaint Wallace

Local and Global Engagement Patricia Phillips, Co-chair Sarah Ganz, Co-chair Alexandra Ben-Abba Brian Clark Claudia Ford David Frazer Lili Hermann Peter Hocking Andreas Nicholas Tom Roberts Brian Smith Yi Doug Wang

Environment and Sustainability Dawn Barrett, Co-chair Jack Silva, Co-chair Charlie Cannon Alan Cantara Peter Dean Boback Firoozbakht James Hall Pamela Harrington Kayla O’Donoghue Pierre St. Germain Kirchin Weston Damian White

strategic planning

strategic planning

Summer Group Jessie Shefrin, Chair David Bogen, Co-Chair Babette Allina Candace Baer Dawn Barrett Raj Bellani Deborah Bright Charlie Cannon Peter Dean William Decatur Nick DePace Susan Doyle Ginny Dunleavy Boback Firoozbakht Sarah Ganz Brian Goldberg Jason Huff Naomi Mishkin Lane Myer Margot Nishimura Patricia Phillips Tom Roberts Peter Simon Joanne Stryker Barbara Von Eckardt

Core Group Fall 2010 Jessie Shefrin, Chair David Bogen, Co-chair Dawn Barrett Raj Bellani Markus Berger Deborah Bright Dennis Congdon William Decatur Susan Doyle Jean Eddy Gabriel Feld Boback Firoozbakht James Foster Mara Hermano Lucinda Hitchcock Ken Horii Jan Howard Naomi Mishkin Lane Myer Margot Nishimura Patricia Phillips Rosanne Somerson Paul Sproll Joanne Stryker Carol Terry Barbara Von Eckardt Ann Woolsey

RISD Strategic Plan Preliminary Draft  

Preliminary draft version of strategic plan shared with faculty, student alliances and staff council.

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