Academic Leadership


Kent Kleinman | Provost

Provost Kent Kleinman leads the Academic Affairs division and works closely with the president to articulate RISD’s academic vision and direction. Before coming to RISD in 2019, he was the Gale and Ira Drukier Dean of the College of Architecture, Art and Planning at Cornell University and has taught at several institutions in the US and internationally.

Daniel Cavicchi | Vice Provost

Daniel Cavicchi specializes in the role of the arts in the everyday lives of Americans since the early 19th century. He has taught at RISD since 1996, served as department head in History, Philosophy and the Social Science, dean of Liberal Arts and as RISD's first Associate Provost for Research | Global | Practice. Most recently Cavicchi served as interim provost.

Sarah Cunningham | Vice Provost for Strategic Partnerships

As RISD’s first vice provost for strategic partnerships, Sarah Cunningham supports research development and special projects, collaborating with community organizations, arts nonprofits, higher education entities and corporate design leaders worldwide. Prior to RISD, she served as the executive director for research and founding director of the Arts Research Institute at Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts.

Matthew Shenoda | Vice President and Associate Provost for Social Equity and Inclusion

Matthew Shenoda arrived at RISD in 2018 as the college's first-ever vice president of Social Equity and Inclusion (SEI). Matthew works closely with the president, provost, the full cabinet and RISD faculty, students and staff to ensure that SEI’s work impacts every aspect of RISD. An expert in the field both in and beyond the classroom, he oversees the Center for SEI and leads efforts to ensure that all elements of the SEI plan are embedded within RISD's academic, institutional and cultural framework.


Scheri Fultineer | Dean of Architecture + Design

An active design practitioner, Scheri Fultineer brings to her work and teaching knowledge of landscape planning and design at diverse scales, years of research into how cultural practices influence landscape, and a lively interest in the contemporary challenge of incorporating sustainability into cultural and design practices.

Brooks Hagan | Dean of Fine Arts

Brooks Hagan has taught at RISD since 2006, focusing on the integration of hand-based practice with industrial manufacturing and new technologies. In addition to maintaining a studio practice informed by industrial fabrication processes, he is the founder of the interdisciplinary Virtual Textiles Research Group and a co-creator of Weft, a digital platform for designing on-demand custom woven textiles.

Joanne Stryker | Dean of Foundation Studies

In her work Joanne Stryker explores the nature of artifacts and human perception through paintings depicting other works of art. Her two-dimensional interpretations of three-dimensional form—sculpture, pottery, friezes—exploit the interplay between various modes of perception, creating intricate still lifes outside the confines of time, place or historical context.

Damian White | Dean of Liberal Arts

Damian White is a sociologist and political theorist with teaching and research interests in the sociology of design, architecture and adaptive reuse, urban and environmental sociology, critical theory, urban studies, and photography. He has served as head of the History, Philosophy + and the Social Sciences department and is a recipient of the Edna Schaffer Humanist Award and a John R. Frazier Award for excellence in teaching.

Patricia Barbeito | Dean of Faculty

Patricia Felisa Barbeito is Professor of American Literatures in the Department of Literary Arts and Studies. Her research and teaching interests include race and ethnicity in American literature; the African American literary tradition; captivity and prison narratives; magical realism; the Latin American novel; and noir fiction and film. She is also a translator of contemporary Greek fiction and poetry, and in 2013 she was awarded the MGSA Constantinides Memorial Translation Prize for her translation of Elias Maglini's The Interrogation.

Margot Nishimura | Dean of Libraries

Margot Nishimura is an art historian with more than two decades of experience in teaching, curatorial practice and administration in museums and libraries. Providing leadership for The Fleet Library, the Nature Lab, the Center for Arts & Language, and Campus Exhibitions, in past years at RISD she was a lecturer in art history and, from 2010–11, Academic Affairs' director of academic planning and assessment.