NEXT: RISD 2020-27

NEXT, RISD’s seven-year strategic plan (PDF), builds on our progressive roots and willingness to experiment, iterate and embrace change.

Created collaboratively by members of the RISD community, the strategic plan proposes how we intend to educate students for the future and bring our current creative practices to bear on today’s most critical social, political and environmental challenges.


  • further diversifying our community and expanding access to RISD.
  • advancing understanding of social equity and inclusion through research and education.
  • promoting civic learning and action through cohesive community engagement practices.


  • adopting renewable energy sources and green building practices on campus.
  • advancing critical research at the nexus of art, design and living systems.
  • aligning our research and studio work in this area with a global network of experts.


  • developing innovative curricula and pedagogy that reflect our values.
  • increasing our overall research capacity and output.
  • establishing an ecosystem of labs to support interdisciplinary inquiry and exchange.

Implementing the plan

To translate strategies into action, RISD’s senior leadership is working through existing committee structures or creating working groups that will research and recommend specific courses of action to implement initiatives referenced in the plan. These leaders are also working directly with deans, department heads and other members of the campus community to develop action plans with specific goals for each year, along with annual progress reports that track our success.

Every member of the RISD community—on campus and off—makes significant contributions to this effort and is essential as we work together to move RISD forward.

Take a moment to review our Year One Implementation Plan and check this page frequently to find updates on progress and metrics. Questions? Email planning@risd.edu.

Read the plan

Social Equity and Inclusion

Acknowledging that systemic racism harms all members of our community and is at odds with RISD’s values, the college and museum have committed to a series of proactively anti-racist action steps. The latest initiatives are inspired by the student-led RISD Anti-Racism Coalition (risdARC) and a group of BIPOC faculty members instigating much-needed change. RISD’s evolving Social Equity and Inclusion Action Plan details important steps members of our community are taking to ensure that we uphold core principles of equity, inclusion, access, agency and mutual respect, and that these values define our campus culture.

Campus Master Plan

Starting in 2012, the RISD community set out on a master plan process in support of the college's 2012-2017 Strategic Plan. Rather than taking a 20th century approach to master planning, developing a static list of projects, RISD chose to develop a set of dynamic and responsive tools calibrated to sustain long-term core values, principles and policies. This master plan was designed to persist through future changes in leadership, economic variability, and pedagogical and technological advances.

Advancing our vision

Expanded Support for First-Generation Students

New RISD First-Generation to College Pre-Orientation Program will offer a multifaceted experience for incoming students.​

New Professorship in Sustainability

A generous gift helps RISD bring art and design to bear on the future of the planet.

RISD Launches “Race in Art & Design” Cluster Hire Search

As part of its commitment to address institutional racism and advance social equity, RISD is hiring 10 new faculty as part of a cluster hire initiative focused on race and decolonization in art and design.