January 18, 2014

Call for applications: Dean, Fine Arts

Rhode Island School of Design (RISD)
Photograph by David O’Connor.

The Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), one of the preeminent and oldest institutions of art and design education in the United States, seeks an innovative and distinguished leader in the arts with relevant administrative experience to join the academic leadership team and lead the Division of Fine Arts. The Dean will provide leadership, experience, energy, and a strong commitment to excellence and innovation in the teaching of a future generation of artists with diverse and often global art practices.

This is an exciting opportunity at a vibrant time in RISD’s history for the incoming Dean to articulate and collaboratively shape a compelling vision for the future of the fine arts disciplines and the evolving role of these disciplines within the global context. Since its founding in 1877, RISD has been amongst the top colleges of art and design. It has a long and venerable history and a deep and abiding belief in the value of a discipline-based, immersive art and design education with a strong liberal arts component. RISD prides itself on educating critical thinkers and makers whose skills and imagination influence the world.  The education of artists, designers and scholars engaged in contemporary culture through works of art and design remains at the core of the institution’s mission.

Reporting to the Provost, the Dean will lead the ten departments within the Division of Fine Arts, which include Ceramics, Film/Animation/Video, Glass, Illustration, Jewelry and Metalsmithing, Painting, Photography, Printmaking, Sculpture, and Textiles. The Dean is a member of the President’s Cabinet and the Provost Council, comprised of the deans and senior academic leadership, and responsible for the development, coordination and implementation of school-wide policies and initiatives. Specifically, the Dean will manage divisional finances and resources; provide support for the professional development and evaluation of faculty and staff; provide ongoing academic program and curricular development to ensure exceptional learning opportunities for students; stimulate new avenues of critical thought and research within and among the disciplines and coordinate programs and initiatives between all academic departments; and ensure that academic programs are assessed and adhere to regional, national and professional standards. S/he will also serve as an external leader and advocate for the division by creating successful educational partnerships within the college and with external organizations and collaborators, and will strengthen relations with donors, sponsors, and alumni/ae.

The successful candidate will be a seasoned administrator with an MFA/PHD or terminal degree in Fine Arts or a related field, or the equivalent combination of experience and education. S/he will possess excellent communication and interpersonal skills and will have demonstrated leadership skills, along with an understanding of the changing higher education environment on both local and global scales.

To apply
More information about the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) may be found at

Nominations and applications will be reviewed as received. Candidates are encouraged to apply as soon as possible. Applications including a cover letter describing your interest and qualifications, resume (in Word format), salary history and where you learned of the position can be submitted through this link:

RISD is an equal opportunity employer. Inquiries from candidates who will enrich and contribute to the cultural and ethnic diversity of the College are encouraged. RISD does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, genetics, or any other protected characteristic as established by law, in employment, or in our education programs.

RISD is being assisted in this search by Vice President Alison Falk and Managing Associate Nureen Das of the Nonprofit Professionals Advisory Group.

Thank you!

An email with a confirmation link has been sent to the email address you entered. To complete your subscription, click this link.