End of Summer Update from the Provost – September 2010

Summer Strategic Planning Group

The charge of the summer working group was to:  “Look at areas of convergence, draw out key threads and conduct further research, internal and external assessments, and comparisons on key issues, and propose strategies for further work in the fall.”

The summer working group met June 30, July 15, July 28, August 11 and August 28 from 1-4 pm.

Click here for a list of summer working group members.

We had a great, hard working Summer Group with excellent attendance, especially given the challenges of coordinating more than 20 vacation schedules. The group was able to fulfill its charge and will first present their work to a meeting of the combined membership of the Core Group and the Area Working Groups on September 20, 4 to 6 p.m., in the Fellowship Hall of the First Baptist Church. A plan is under development to report after that to the full faculty, Board, students, and staff, once school has begun.

Academic Affairs

For staffing and other news and changes that have taken place in Academic Affairs over the summer see the Update from the Provost at: http://academicaffairs.risd.edu/announcements/6622

Negotiations for the Full-Time Faculty Association Contract concluded with the signing of a tentative agreement on June 30. The new Contract was ratified in mid July and will be signed in early fall, at which time it will be made available in hard copy and on the Academic Affairs website (under Operations and Procedures)

The Deans Advisory Council (DAC) has been renamed the Academic Council to be inclusive of the other academic areas under the Office of the Provost.

Financial Aid

March 30 President Obama signed into law the "The Health Care and Education Affordability Reconciliation Act of 2010".   In addition to the many changes to our nation's health care, the bill included many changes to the student loan programs.   The bill mandates that, effective July 1, 2010, all federal student loans (Stafford, PLUS, and Grad PLUS) will be originated through the Federal Direct Loan Program. The Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFEL) which RISD participated in, was eliminated effective June 30, 2010.

The transition to a new program required:

1.  All students and parents complete new promissory notes for loans disbursed for the 2010-11 academic year.  For returning students and their parents, this is a completely new process.

2.  Summer Session students borrow under the old program (FFEL), complete promissory notes and have their loans disbursed prior to June 30.  (The majority of lenders had implemented a June 15 deadline for federal disbursements.)

(For further information please see intranet.risd.edu, campus index, financial aid.)

Facilities (quick updates)

• Liberal Arts faculty moved from Carr House to College Building 2nd floor
• Textile Department CAD lab in College Building completed
• The Writing Center is now on the 2nd floor of College Building
• Carr House renovations completed; Student Affairs, Office of Student Life; Advising, International Student Services in Carr House
• BEB room 106 renovations nearly completed
• Teaching and Learning in Art and Design move to CIT 2nd floor completed
• Shared Sculpture/Glass studio on 4th floor of Metcalf completed

Registrar’s Office

In Spring 2010 the Registrar’s Office implemented on-line grading through WebAdvisor.

Of the 410 instructors in Spring 2010, 396 graded on the web and 14 handed in a paper roster. That is a 96.5% participation rate.

In Spring 2010 the Registrar’s Office implemented a pilot program with the Division of Liberal Arts to allow students to officially wait-list for classes that were full at the time when a student registered for a class. Throughout the summer students received automatic notification when space was available in a class they were wait-listed for.  Going forward we will add other classes including Graduate Studies, Wintersession and studio electives.

Foundation and Liberal Arts transfer credits have been loaded into Webadvisor for incoming transfer students.  Each student has received an email to look on line and verify their information.

What Is Coming?


RISD has received a $1.3 million grant from the National Science Foundation as part of the Rhode Island EPSCoR project.  This project will span five years, and involves a partnership with URI, Brown, and several other RI colleges, universities, and non-profit organizations.  The focus of the larger project is on climate change and the marine and life sciences.  RISD will focus on building infrastructure and collaborative studios in areas of data visualization and the public communication of science.

RISD has also received a $150,000 grant from the Small Business Administration for the “Partnership in Sustainable Design,” a joint project with the Rhode Island Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (RI-CIE).

RISD has received a $81,110 grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to design and host a symposium that brings together health care specialists from higher education, faculty, students and industry leaders to explore the nexus of health care and art and design.  Deborah Bright and Brian Goldberg are the leads on this project. The symposium will take place in Spring 2011.

Sponsored Studios/Partnerships

ESPN:  Rafael Attias (Graphic Design/Illustration) and Oren Sherman (Illustration) will  lead an interdisciplinary studio sponsored by ESPN on the meaning of fandom, as a cultural phenomenon and its reinterpretation in our changing social and media-based environments.

Elle Magazine: Elle Magazine and RISD Apparel, Textiles, and Jewelry + Metalsmithing are teaming up to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Elle Magazine. Elle selected 22 RISD student collections and held a photo shoot in NYC in July. A selection of these photos will appear in the Elle Magazine 25th anniversary edition (which will appear in October 2010). Elle also conducted video interviews for Elle.com. Elle and Maybelline will review selected works and choose winners. A $25,000 first prize is sponsored by Elle and a $25,000 second prize is sponsored by Maybelline. During Fashion Week the winners' designs will be shown at the Lincoln Center in NYC on September 9th. http://www.elle.com/Fashion/Fashion-Spotlight/RISD-Yearbook

Morisawa:  The Japanese font company Morisawa, Inc.  is sponsoring a fellow in residence at RISD during the academic year 2010-2011.  Keitaro Sakamoto will be in residence in the Digital + Media Department and to conduct research on 3-D typography and other topics throughout the year. (http://www.morisawa.co.jp/english/)

G-Speak:  The G-Speak (Gesture Speak) facility donated by Oblong Industries has been moved to the 2nd floor of Prov/Wash.  Current development includes applications for 3-D drawing, workshops for students in Foundation Studies, and a proposed collaborative studio with faculty from RISD and Brown.

NEASC Fifth Year Interim Accreditation Report

RISD completed its last accreditation in 2006 and is required to submit an Fifth Year Interim Report to the Northeast Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) in January 2012.  This report was originally scheduled for January 2011, but we have been granted an extension of one year so that we will be in position to include results from the Strategic Planning process.  Preparation for the completion of this report will begin in February 2011.

New Web-Site Launch

The soft launch of www.risd.edu will take place on September 15 for internal testing and review.  The new site is planned to go public on October 1, 2010.  Areas of focus for the launch are: Academic Affairs, Students, Parents sections.  New Museum, Continuing Education, Alumni sections will be launched in the second phase by Spring 2011 term.

New Student Orientations

Please see Fall Orientation 2010 to find the latest schedule and information about graduate, undergraduate, international and transfer student orientation fall orientation. Please click here http://risdorientation.wordpress.com/

The Orientation keynote speaker for the incoming undergraduate students will be Amy Whitaker.

The Orientation keynote speaker for the incoming Graduate Students will be Rick Lowe.

Searches Update

Director of the Museum – The search firm Phillips Oppenheim has been selected. Dr. William Tsiaris, Vice-Chair of the Museum Board of Governors, will chair the search committee. Faculty will be represented on the search committee.

Vice President of Institutional Engagement -- Spencer Stuart is conducting the search, and candidates are currently being interviewed.

The search for an Assistant Vice President for Budget and Planning has been reopened.

The search for a Director of Institutional Research is underway.  Final candidates were interviewed on campus during the week of August 23, and a decision about an appointment to this position is expected shortly.

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