Dear RISD Community,
Transitions are moments to reflect on what we have accomplished, to consider our strengths as an institution and community, and to welcome new opportunities. It is in this spirit that I am pleased to announce the appointment of Pradeep Sharma as interim Provost. I am confident in Pradeep’s leadership, and know that our academic programs will continue to be supported and our strategic initiatives advanced.
The nomination process generated 22 names through 74 faculty recommendations, with Pradeep as a clear frontrunner. He was spoken of as “a strong and articulate leader,” “brilliant, intuitive… a very good judge of character,” “sensitive to RISD’s history,” and having “a vision for art and design in the 21st century.” I agree strongly with one nomination that noted he has “the right balance of intelligence, sensitivity, integrity, creativity and criticality to continue the good work that we have started.”
This appointment creates a vacancy in a key position, Dean of Architecture + Design, one that is crucial to our core mission and to our near- and long-term goals as an institution. Therefore, I also have the pleasure to announce that Nancy Skolos has generously agreed to postpone her sabbatical and take on the role of interim Dean of Architecture + Design. Nancy has proven her ability as an academic leader, having capably served as Department Head of Graphic Design for the 5 1/2 years. A process to identify a new Department Head was already underway and will be announced shortly. Nancy was completing her term as Department Head, so this new appointment will entail minimal disruption.
Thank you to all who took the time to nominate members of our community, and to the faculty group who gave generously of their time and provided helpful, candid feedback during this process. My gratitude goes to Pradeep and Nancy for their willingness to step into these critical roles.
Best wishes for the holiday season, and I look forward to welcoming you in the New Year.