About Presidential Search

April 1 2021 Update

Presidential Search Update

Dear Members of the RISD Community,

On behalf of the RISD Board of Trustees, I am pleased to share that the Presidential Search Committee has completed its six-week listening tour. The early stages of a presidential search are paramount to the success of finding the right candidate to lead our cherished RISD and, thanks to the outpouring of participation from across our community, we are off to an exceptional start.

The Search Committee hosted an astounding 20 sessions that were attended by more than 200 participants and included students, faculty, staff, academic and administrative leaders, alumni, parents, current and Emeriti Trustees, members of the Museum Board of Governors and local community leaders. In addition, more than 400 students, faculty, staff, alumni and parents completed the survey the Search Committee sent out to our community.

Through these forums, the Search Committee sought to make sure that every facet of the RISD community had an opportunity to have their voices heard and offer their aspirations for our next president. They heard and greatly appreciated the honest and heartfelt thoughts, insights, observations and hopes that you shared.

I would like to thank each and every person who participated in this vital part of our search process. The input you provided is now helping to inform the next stage of the search - the creation of the position profile. We anticipate the profile will be finalized in mid-April and I will be back in touch then to share it with you.

We have already received many exciting nominations from the community and continue to build the candidate pool in advance of posting the full position profile. Isaacson, Miller, our search consultants, continue to welcome your candidate nominations. As always, you can find information and updates about this process on RISD’s website.

Again, I thank you for your participation in this process, as well as your patience as we work to find the best possible leader to take RISD into the future. I would also like to thank the Search Committee and the Student Advisory Committee for their tireless efforts. A presidential search is a massive undertaking, the time and work they have already committed is significant and cannot be overstated.

Yours in art + design,

Michael Spalter
Board Chair, RISD Board of Trustees