New Dean of Architecture + Design

Dear RISD Community,

I am pleased to share with you that Pradeep Sharma will join RISD as Dean of Architecture and Design this fall. With his extensive experience as both a teacher and academic administrator, his strong research background and active strategic design practice, Pradeep will provide dynamic and effective leadership for the Division of Architecture and Design. In interviews and subsequent conversations, Pradeep demonstrated his ability to help advance the strategic priorities that constitute our Strategic Plan. Additionally, he impressed the search committee and the faculty and staff he met during his interview with his ability to lead and collaborate with all of the departments in the Division, and his deep understanding of opportunities and challenges that face each discipline.

Most recently, as Head of the Bath School of Art and Design at Bath Spa University in England, Pradeep managed the School’s operations, finances, facilities, assessment, academic program development as well as the student experience. Despite a challenging economic climate, he was responsible for developing new undergraduate and graduate degree programs, expanding research activity, and building collaborative industry relationships. With the understanding that new technology is changing the way we produce art, and design objects and the built environment, he worked to incorporate digital technologies into various disciplines at Bath, while remaining committed to the kind of hands-on studio learning that contributes so deeply to a RISD education.

Pradeep brings a keen interest in how the architecture and design disciplines can work together with the fine arts and the liberal arts to inform each other’s practice. His international outlook and expansive global experience and network will open opportunities for the development of a global strategy for RISD. Pradeep’s educational and professional background will help continue to support and develop the excellence of RISD’s academic programs while promoting new paths for exploration and innovation.

Prior to Bath, Pradeep was Head of Art and Design at the Cardiff School of Creative and Cultural Studies at the University of Glamorgan, UK, and a research fellow and senior lecturer at Unitec Institute of Technology in New Zealand. He has maintained a design management and consultancy practice since 2002. He holds a BA and MA in Electrical and Information Sciences from Cambridge University, an MA in Industrial Design Engineering from Teesside University, and is in the final stages of completing his Doctorate in Management at the University of Hertfordshire.

Our thanks go to Douglass Scott, Search Committee Chair, and Professors Markus Berger, Scheri Fultineer, Andy Law, Chris Rose and Anne Tate, Dean Brian Smith, and Liz Rainone for their diligence in reviewing the applications of numerous candidates, and for inviting four highly qualified final candidates to campus for presentations and meetings with faculty and staff. Bill Newkirk also deserves our deep gratitude for stepping into this role and serving so ably as interim dean this past year. We wish him well as he returns to teaching in Foundation Studies.

Please join me in welcoming Pradeep Sharma to the RISD community.

I hope that the summer months are bringing some time for rest, reflection, and productive creative work.

Best regards,

Rosanne Somerson

Deans, Division of Architecture + Design, Search

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