Rhode Island School of Design Appoints Pradeep Sharma as Provost

Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) is pleased to announce the appointment of Pradeep Sharma as its chief academic leader, effective immediately. A designer, researcher, teacher and seasoned design strategist, he has served as RISD’s interim provost since January 2014.

“Since joining RISD in 2012 as dean of Architecture + Design, Pradeep Sharma has proven himself to be a trusted leader, and an expansive and challenging thinker,” notes RISD President Rosanne Somerson. “Pradeep has fostered new forms of research as well as integration among the fine arts, design, liberal arts and foundation studies at RISD. I'm confident that his global perspective, intellect, and collegiality will all contribute to advancing RISD's academic programs and our impact in the world. I'm delighted that Pradeep will serve as provost and on my leadership team."

As provost, Sharma works closely with President Somerson to articulate RISD’s academic vision and direction. He leads a team that works together to prioritize teaching and learning initiatives and ensure that faculty members have sufficient resources to deliver on academic priorities. The provost also speaks to a wide range of external audiences about RISD’s pedagogical approach, which is based on a deep, immersive studio experience that sharpens critical thinking and hands-on making abilities.

“It is my privilege to take on the role of provost,” says Sharma. “I deeply value RISD’s commitment to practice and the attention that is paid here to taking experience seriously. At RISD new technologies coexist with traditional technologies, new methods constantly evolve, ideas drive making, students want to change the world, faculty really know how to teach, the hand is conscious of the brain, ideas exist in contexts of practice, culture, society and politics, and art and design are at the forefront of everything we do.”

Before coming to RISD, Sharma served as dean of the Bath School of Art and Design at Bath Spa University in England, where he led the academic programs and student experience as well as managing the school’s operations, finances, facilities and quality assurance. There, he developed new degree programs, expanded research activity and built collaborative relationships with industry partners. In addressing the impact of new technology on the creation of art, design and the built environment, Sharma worked to incorporate digital technologies into various disciplines, while remaining committed to the hands-on studio learning at the core of an art and design education. His research included working with creative and cultural industries to support economic and heritage development and investigating collaborative creativity.

Earlier in his career, Sharma served as head of Art and Design at the University of Glamorgan’s Cardiff School of Creative and Cultural Studies in the UK and worked as a research fellow and senior lecturer at Unitec Institute of Technology in New Zealand. In addition to a doctorate in complexity management from the University of Hertfordshire in the UK, he holds a master’s degree in Industrial Design Engineering from Teesside University and both a BA and an MA in Electrical and Information Sciences from Cambridge University. In addition, Sharma ran his own international design management and innovation consultancy practice for more than a decade.

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