Michael Spalter RISD's new Board president
Dear RISD Community,
At its third and final meeting of the academic year on May 18-19, RISD’s Board of Trustees discussed a variety of topics including academic initiatives, College finances and the status of enrollment. The Board took action on several resolutions as part of its annual cycle of business. Here are some highlights:
Election of Board Chair and New Trustees
After a comprehensive review and consultation process and upon recommendation of the Committee on Trustees and Governance, the Board elected Michael Spalter as its 12th Chair. Previously a Vice Chair and a member of the Museum Board of Governors since 2008, Mr. Spalter and his wife, alumna Anne Morgan Spalter MFA’92 PT, have created one of the world’s largest private digital art collections, loaning works to London’s Victoria & Albert Museum and New York’s Museum of Modern Art.
Mr. Spalter is a member of the Chairman’s Circle of American Friends of the Louvre, and he is a Trustee of Boston Cyberarts, host of the first new media festival in the United States. He has been a Visiting Scholar at Brown University, where he co-founded the Entrepreneurship Forum, and serves on the Investment Committee of Lifespan. Previously, Spalter co-founded Preservation of Capital Management, LLC.
Other Board members continuing in office include Lisa Pevaroff-Cohn ‘83 TX and Stephen Key as vice chairs, and V. Duncan Johnson as Secretary. Former Chair Merrill Sherman was granted the title Chair Emerita in recognition of her exemplary leadership and service to the institution. She will remain on the Board of Trustees for a third three-year term, serving on the Executive Committee of the Museum Board of Governors.
The Board also voted in five new members to serve their first three-year terms:
Joe Gebbia ’05 GD/ID, Co Founder and Chief Product Officer of Silicon Valley success story Airbnb, a community marketplace to list, discover and book unique accommodations around the world. While pursuing a double major at RISD, he led as student body president and founded the College’s basketball team.
Robert Glass, parent of Grace Glass ‘11 IL, is Executive Vice President of Corporate Development at Robert Half International, the world’s first and largest specialized staffing firm and parent company of Protiviti, a global risk consulting and internal audit firm.
Amy Korenvaes ’74 SC is a successful painter and sculptor whose strongest artistic interest revolves around circus, rodeo and hospital clowns. Her affiliation with the Big Apple Circus and Cirque de Soleil has been a major influence in her artistic and charitable endeavors.
Mary Lovejoy, Vice President and Treasurer of Textron, Inc., oversees the company’s financing activities, global treasury options and the investment of pension fund assets. She also serves on the Board of the Festival Ballet Providence.
Peter Stein leads an investment advisory practice for university endowments and foundations at the Presidio Group, LLC. He has served on RISD’s investment committee since 2009.
The Board also recognized outgoing members Bill Hammer, Stu Murphy, Don Stanton, Phil Tobey and Toots Zynsky for their tireless commitment and support of RISD.
Board Approves: Faculty Promotions
The Board approved the promotion of six faculty members presented by the Committee on Faculty Appointments and endorsed by the Academic Affairs Committee, the Interim Provost and the President. Congratulations to these accomplished, passionate faculty members, whose teaching, creative work and scholarship is the foundation of our school.
The Board also approved the conferral of degrees on the members of the Class of 2012, and recognized retiring faculty members Brice Hobbs and Eddie Oates, both from Foundation Studies, for their years of loyal service and dedication to RISD students and to their respective fields of art and design.
Board Approves: FY2012-13 Budget
Upon review of key revenue and expense assumptions, the Board approved the College’s budget for 2012-13, the initial year of the multi-year financial plan. The budget and multi-year financial plan support key initiatives identified in the strategic plan.
In addition, the Board approved the following annual items, which ensure financial compliance, fiscal responsibility, and proper oversight:
· Candidates for the Honorary Degree 2013
· Appointment of Auditors for FY2013
· FY2011 Form 990/990T
· Series 2008A Bonds SWAP Counterparty
· Replacement Letter of Credit
· Extension of Board Committee appointments
· Membership of the Museum Board of Governors Executive Committee
Please contact Bill Decatur, EVP of Finance and Administration, with questions about the budget or audit and financial matters, which were approved by the Board to strengthen RISD’s financial position and achieve savings in our debt payments.
Throughout the meeting, our Trustees had several opportunities to experience the fruits of student and faculty hard work at the Graduate Thesis exhibition, the 2012 Collection show and other year-end exhibitions. Dan Cavicchi and Dale Broholm presented the Witness Tree Project, which illustrates a special kind of critical making that enables the understanding of history through material culture. Trustees also met and commended the 2011 RISD Recognizes award winners for their dedicated service to our students and our institution.
RISD is the school of art and design by which all others are measured because of your unwavering commitment to the highest standards. Thank you for all you do for RISD.