NEXT: RISD 2020-2027

Created collaboratively by members of the RISD community, NEXT, RISD’s seven-year strategic plan (PDF), 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.

Since beginning implementation of the plan in spring 2019, the RISD community has made considerable progress toward our goals. To see what we have accomplished together in that time, continue below. We also invite you to read the NEXT two-year progress report for next steps, priorities and more details.

Year two progress report

This report outlines the first two years of progress in implementing NEXT: RISD 2020–2027, our seven-year strategic plan. It details the specific work we’ve done to generate new knowledge and address issues of social justice and sustainability, key operational and financial improvements, and next steps for advancing the plan.

Institutional plans

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.

Our progress

Getting Ahead of Climate Change

RISD Architecture students participating in the Envision Resilience Challenge draw up radical plans in response to projected sea-level rise in Warren, RI. 

Preparing for Rising Seas

Landscape Architecture students develop environmentally just proposals for managing sea-level rise in the Narragansett Bay as part of the Envision Resilience Challenge.

SPUR-Funded Research Underway

Juniors Gina Vestuti and Yukti Agarwal are using grants awarded by RISD Research to document the work of blues musicians in the US and traditional weavers in India.

Rethinking the Opioid Crisis

RISD’s Center for Complexity uses the studio process of inquiry, iteration and innovation to envision novel solutions to the nationwide problem.

Cultivating a Global Perspective

Liberal Arts faculty members reflect on the inaugural years of RISD’s Global Arts and Cultures MA program.

Donors Invest $25 Million in RISD’s Future

Institutional Advancement wraps up the second-best fundraising year in the history of the institution and recognizes growing alumni engagement.

RISD Welcomes New Hires Focused on Race and Decolonization

Full-time faculty members to join RISD in fall 2021 as a result of the “Race in Art & Design” cluster hire initiative.

Redesigning Society After COVID

RISD’s Center for Complexity reports on its second entirely virtual, pandemic-related summer symposium.

Questions and feedback

Check this page frequently to find updates on progress and metrics. Questions? Email planning@risd.edu.