Academic Affairs is the primary hub of activity for RISD’s vision, direction and leadership in the academic arena. Academic Affairs supports the college’s core strategic objectives, ensuring sufficient institutional resources in support of academic priorities; enriching curricula to address dynamic, contemporary opportunities; and recognizing, supporting and encouraging teaching excellence in art and design education.
Critical Making/Making Critical, RISD’s 2012–2017 strategic plan, presents our vision for best educating and supporting today’s artists and designers in ways that respect our founding ideals and reflect who we are as an institution. The highest priority the plan identifies is to enhance our educational model – one that nurtures critical making, thinking and innovation through immersive, disciplinary learning and engagement in the practice of art and design. In addition to an emphasis on teaching and educational excellence, the plan ranks research, critical making and innovation, student engagement and diversity among its priorities.
As RISD’s top academic leader and spokesperson, Provost Rosanne Somerson provides leadership and direction to approximately 690 faculty and staff members in Academic Affairs and the six academic divisions at RISD.
Vice Provost Carol Strohecker leads a wide range of academic initiatives, overseeing the Academic Program Review process, chairing the RISD Research Initiative and serving as the RISD coordinator for the Brown/RISD Dual Degree Program. She also oversees RISD’s Academic Commons departments, including such shared academic resources as the Fleet Library at RISD, the Nature Lab and the Writing Center, and initiatives such as public engagement, global partnerships and sponsored studios and projects.
Executive Director of Strategic Planning and Academic Initiatives Mara Hermano helps implement the key academic initiatives and priorities spelled out in the strategic plan and measures and tracks their progress. She also acts as a liaison with accrediting bodies to ensure compliance with accreditation standards and facilitate related reviews and other activities.
As essential members of our core leadership team, the deans and department heads listed to the right facilitate RISD’s mission at the divisional and departmental levels, overseeing day-to-day teaching and learning in their respective areas of expertise.