About Presidential Search

October 20 2021 Update

Presidential Search Update: Search reaches finalist stage

Dear RISD community:

I hope that fall semester is off to a wonderful start for you. It is thrilling to see our classrooms and studios reactivated, and to feel the energy across our campus. Today, on behalf of the Board of Trustees, I write with an update on our search for RISD’s next president.

Over the summer I shared that our search consultants built a robust pool of impressive candidates and the search committee then selected a group of highly-qualified candidates to interview. Since that time, the search committee has met with selected candidates and continued to conduct due diligence of the candidates’ personal and professional backgrounds. They have also been collecting significant perspectives on the candidates’ past achievements and track records through extensive interviews, comprehensive conversations with a diverse set of references, and the completion of public record background checks.

Thanks to the search committee’s diligent work, we are now in the finalist stage of our search. Input from across our community is critical at this stage and our search committee is eager to hear a variety of community perspectives on any finalist candidate. Therefore, we have asked a group of community members representing faculty, leadership, staff, students, alumni and Board members to meet with any finalist candidate and share their feedback with the search committee.

After carefully considering all of these inputs, the search committee will make a recommendation to the Board for the person they believe is the very best leader to take us into the future. They will then ask the Board to vote to approve their recommendation.

While I am eager for that moment to arrive, my fellow Board members and I remain committed to allowing the search to take as much time as it needs. I greatly appreciate your patience and support of this process. The Board and I extend our thanks to Interim President Dave Proulx and the senior leadership team for their continued efforts to guide RISD during this time, and ensure that we deliver a student experience that is as close to normal as possible while still navigating the ongoing impacts of COVID-19.

I wish you a wonderful fall and I look forward to being back in touch when I have further updates to share. In the meantime, as always, you can find an overview of our search process and the latest updates on risd.edu.

In art + design,

Michael Spalter
Chair | Board of Trustees