Patricia Phillips appointed Interim Associate Provost for Academic Affairs

Dear RISD Faculty and Staff:

It is with great pleasure that I announce the appointment of Dean Patricia Phillips to the position of Interim Associate Provost for Academic Affairs for academic year 2011-2012. Patti has been serving as Dean of Graduate Studies at RISD since 2009 and will bring valuable experience and enthusiasm to her role as Interim Associate Provost.

Patti’s distinguished record of research and critical writing spans contemporary public art, architecture, sculpture, landscape, as well as the intersection of these areas. She is the author of Ursula von Rydingsvard: Working (2011) and It is Difficult (1998), a survey of the work of Alfredo Jaar, and has contributed to books and exhibition catalogues on the work of Krzystof Wodiczko and Ann Hamilton among others. Since 1980, her essays and reviews have been published in Artforum, Art in America, Flash Art, Sculpture, and Public Art Review. From 2002-2007, she served as Editor-in-Chief of Art Journal, a quarterly publication on contemporary art published by the College Art Association. Her curatorial and design work includes projects for the Queens Museum of Art, Institute for Contemporary Art/P.S.1 and the Whitney Museum of American Art. Patti has received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Visual Arts. She has lectured in museums and institutions across the globe on issues of contemporary public art, architecture, and environment art.

Prior to joining RISD, Patti was most recently Professor and Chair of the Department of Art in the College of Architecture, Art, and Planning at Cornell University from 2007-2009. She was Chair of the Art Department at the State University of New York at New Paltz from 1991-1996 and 2002-2007, where she also served as Dean of the School of Fine & Performing Arts from 1996-2002.

With her wide-ranging scholarship and extensive administrative experience, Patti brings an articulate vision and broad perspective to support and enhance the fine arts and architecture and design disciplines at both the graduate and undergraduate levels. Patti has also recently assumed oversight of public engagement initiatives and research at RISD, and as these will continue to be part of her responsibilities, they will remain situated in Academic Affairs.

With this appointment, we must now select an interim Dean of Graduate Studies. Our preference is to appoint someone from our current faculty. I have requested Graduate Program Directors, Department Heads and Deans to forward their nominations to me for consideration. We are working on a short time frame since course replacement and adequate transition time prior to the start of the academic year are necessary. Patti and I will be working together to ensure smooth transitions at each stage.

As I begin the role of Provost today, July 1 please join me in welcoming Patti as Interim Associate Provost for Academic Affairs.  I will keep you informed as the rest of the transition process unfolds.  Enjoy these beautiful days of summer!

Best regards,
Rosanne Somerson

Patricia Phillips

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