Message from President Maeda, February 27

Dear RISD Community,

I write to you with news from the February meeting of the Board of Trustees at RISD. In a series of lively and engaged discussions, the Board took action regarding the future strategic direction of RISD, tuition for FY13, and the leadership of the College.

Board Approves: RISD’s Strategic Plan 2012-2017, Critical Making | Making Critical

The Board dedicated much of the meeting to the review of RISD’s Strategic Plan 2012-2017, Critical Making | Making Critical. Trustees interacted with many of the participants in the three-year planning process and heard presentations from across the leadership of the College including the Provost, Associate Provost and Deans. At its Saturday meeting, the Board voted unanimously to approve the Strategic Plan as a guide for RISD over the next five years. The Strategic Plan presents a vision for how RISD can best educate and support artists and designers for a changing world and reflects RISD’s founding ideals as an institution

The summary version of the approved Strategic Plan is now posted on the RISD website:

I want to once again thank the more than eighty faculty, students and staff who contributed their intellectual and creative talents to this planning process. The collaborative work it took to design a working plan for RISD’s future is an accomplishment unto itself, and the Board recognized and appreciated this work.

Regular updates regarding the Strategic Plan will be included in the Staff Newsletter and the Academic Affairs News Digest.

Board Approves: Tuition, Room and Board for 2013

The Board remains committed to keeping RISD’s rate of tuition increases low for students and their families. Last year, through prudent financial management by all of us here at RISD, we were able to reduce RISD’s tuition increase to 3.9% — the lowest tuition increase in 30 years. For the past four years, our tuition increases have been below the average and the median for our peer group. The Board concluded that a tuition increase of 3.9% for FY13 is prudent to maintain the quality of education we expect to advance for our students as laid out in the Strategic Plan, while continuing to be mindful of affordability.

Board Approves: President Contract Renewal for 2013-2015

As you know from Board Chair Sherman’s recent announcement, the Board has offered and I have accepted a contract renewal through June 2015. I am honored to continue my work at RISD and look forward to even greater collaboration with the RISD community to pursue continued academic excellence at RISD and to further reveal the importance of art and design in the world today. That work is based upon the deep appreciation I have for RISD’s history, its unique strengths, the people who make up this community, and the opportunity to both steward and advance the disciplines that we teach.

Together with my administration, I will continue to strive to make a RISD education more accessible through prudent financial management of the College and increased fundraising for scholarships. In addition, College fundraising efforts to provide state-of-the-art facilities for our academic programs will remain an ongoing priority. And I will continue to advocate for RISD internationally, as well as for our role in the importance of adding art and design to turn STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) to STEAM and create a future that is both economically and culturally vibrant.

Working with our gifted faculty, staff and students, we have important opportunities ahead of us embodied in our strategic plan that assure we will continue to advance our country’s finest institution of art and design education. The world we live in today is experiencing unprecedented changes in how it works and how we work – what will remain unchanged is how great art and design transforms the human experience. Thanks to all of your efforts, RISD’s role in securing the foundations of thinking and making as artists and designers remains assured for many years to come.


John Maeda

John Maeda (
Office of the President | Rhode Island School of Design
2 College Street | Providence, RI 02903 | 401-454-6764

For info about the President’s Office:

John Maeda, Strategic

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