The mission of Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), through its college and museum, is to educate students and the public in the creation and appreciation of works of art and design, to discover and transmit knowledge, and to make lasting contributions to a global society through critical thinking, scholarship, and innovation. Their immersive model of art and design education emphasizes robust liberal arts studies and conceptually driven studio-based learning in full-time bachelor’s and master’s degree programs across 19 majors. RISD’s exceptional faculty foster student growth and development in extensive specialized facilities, enabling students to become confident, cross-disciplinary thinkers and nimble problem-solvers ready to confront the complexities of global practice in the 21st century. Nearly 30,000 alumni worldwide testify to the impact of a RISD education, exemplifying the vital role artists and designers play in defining global innovation. Founded in 1877, RISD and the RISD Museum help make Providence, RI among the most culturally active and creative cities in the region.


The Position

Role of the Director of Counseling & Psychological Services (CAPS) for Rhode Island School of Design

Reporting to the executive director of integrated health and wellness, the director of counseling and psychological services is responsible for overseeing the provision of services that address the psychological and psychiatric needs of the students, including needs assessment and evaluation, individual and group counseling/psychotherapy, psychiatric consultation and treatment services, 24-hour coverage for mental health emergencies, and crisis intervention throughout the calendar year. The director provides vision and leadership for CAPS, and through the hiring and supervision of staff and consultants, assures the provision of high quality, culturally competent clinical and outreach services that are consistent with the highest ethical standards.

The director is responsible for creating consistent operating principles and ensuring collaboration with others in achieving the strategic goals of the college and the Division of Student Affairs. Through dynamic collaboration with other departments within Student Affairs, as well as other campus partners, the director advises on situations and policies having a mental health component. The CAPS director also serves as one of the key directors in the Division of Student Affairs and actively engages other campus leaders such as the director of health services and other members of Student Affairs to develop, evaluate, recommend, and implement, as approved, comprehensive behavioral health initiatives that incorporate multicultural diversity, inclusivity, and social justice concepts and principles.

Essential duties include:

  • Hire, train, evaluate and provide vision, skilled leadership, and clinical oversight to and management of the staff, and consultants in CAPS. Conduct regular CAPS meetings for planning, administration, and staff supervision. This includes providing clinical supervision to staff and completing mid-year and final evaluations. (25%)
  • Oversee and manage counseling services, including development of appropriate procedures and systems. Initiate and manage referral program appropriate to the student needs. Together with the CAPS case manager, liaise with community mental health professionals in hospitals, private practice, agencies, and surrounding colleges and universities. Assure the provision of culturally appropriate services to diverse populations of students. Assure compliance with current licensing regulations, professional ethics, and confidentiality standards. (25%)
  • In collaboration with the Health Educator, design and assist with implementation of programming related to wellness. Provide education and training to the RISD community regarding mental health issues, CAPS services, and student success, based on industry standard best practices. (10%)
  • Manage the CAPS budget and purchasing operations. (5%)
  • Responsible for the delivery and management of daytime and on-call emergency services. Provide urgent consultation as appropriate to students referred by College faculty, staff, parents/family to assess safety and recommend plans for treatment and follow-up. Provide recommendations as appropriate regarding medical leave and return from medical leave. Offer consultation and training to faculty and staff regarding students of concern. Participate in student of concern and medical readmit meetings. (15%)
  • When appropriate, conduct needs assessments, organize and lead time-limited individual therapy, facilitate off-campus referrals, and provide outreach services, depending on administrative demands. (5%)
  • Maintain accurate and timely electronic records using RISD’s electronic medical record system (Titanium). Run reports, standard and ad-hoc, from electronic medical record program to help manage clinical demand and to inform policymaking and other administrative decisions. Provide other assessment and planning documentation when necessary. (5%)
  • Manage Protocall Services procedures and serve as the after-hours on-call counselor with the Assistant Director, Training. Update policy additions/changes based on experiences with the current protocol and a variety of student situations. (5%)

History of the Position

The past director left CAPS in late 2019. While they have a strong interim director, CAPS is in need of a strong leader to bring stability to the office. In addition in 2019, CAPS and Health Services merged under one executive director and co-located offices to enhance services offered to the RISD community. By engaging in a national search, RISD seeks to find a dynamic leader who is equipped to help CAPS continue their exceptional work and realize their full potential.

Opportunities and Challenges of the Role

The new director will encounter the following opportunities and challenges:

  • It is quite possible that this new director will begin this position working remotely. Learning the staff, culture, and campus will be challenging in a remote environment.
  • RISD is a diverse campus—roughly 60 percent of the students using CAPS identify as non-binary. The next director should be comfortable working with this population as well as an extremely talented and diverse student body.
  • The director of health services and the new CAPS director will both be new to these positions and RISD presenting an exciting opportunity to forge a strong partnership.
  • Health Services and CAPS are now co-located, but the staff have not been able to use this space due to COVID. Adjusting to this environment for all staff will be new. Both the CAPS director and the director of health services will need to work together with the staff to overcome any obstacles or issues transitioning.
  • The CAPS staff are a strongly bonded team that work extremely well together. The new director will need to work to establish trust with the team and to build a genuine relationship with each staff member.
  • The new director will be expected to collaborate with other directors across campus working to both create new partnerships and help educate others regarding the office and its work.
  • The CAPS team has experienced a great deal of change over the last few years; this director should bring strength and stability to the team.
  • The director can help to integrate CAPS within Student Affairs and the campus community.
  • RISD has a unique and diverse student population that are more susceptible to mental health issues. The students are highly intellectual, sensitive, and engage with campus differently. A new director must embrace the RISD culture, be genuinely excited about working with the students, and work to find ways to support them through various modalities.
  • With Health Services and CAPS merging, the new director will have the opportunity to create a new vision and path for the office while working collaboratively with the director of health services and the executive director of integrated health and wellness.
  • The next director must have a strong understanding of identity and the ability to navigate the diverse experiences of RISD students.

Measures of Success

At an appropriate interval after joining RISD, the following items will initially define success for the director:

  • The CAPS staff respect and trust the director and, in turn, the staff feel respected, valued, and supported.
  • The staff have all moved into the new location and worked through any transitional issues as well as established joint protocols with Health Services for the office; CAPS and Health Services enjoy a positive, supportive relationship.
  • The new director in conjunction with the assistant vice president for student affairs, executive director of integrated health and wellness, and the director of health services will be formulating a new strategic plan and vision for health and wellness at RISD.
  • RISD students feel included and welcomed at CAPS; students know the director and feel comfortable reaching out to, and working with, the director.
  • CAPS is actively working on wellness and preventive health, integrating new approaches and services to best meet the students’ needs in a holistic manner.
  • The director has embraced the unique campus culture.
  • Other faculty and staff seek out this director for advice and collaboration on new programs.
  • The director has ensured the entire staff is included in the creation of a new vision for CAPS.
  • The director is well-known across campus by being visible, accessible, and as an active partner.
  • The director is working to integrate a culture of assessment within CAPS to provide critical data to further the understanding of the scope of their work at RISD.
  • CAPS is currently well-respected throughout campus and the new director has been instrumental in maintaining the high regard for the department, if not enhanced the positive image of the office.

Qualifications and Characteristics

Minimum qualifications include an earned master’s degree in counseling, psychology, social work, or a related field. Applicants must also be licensed or license-eligible in the state of Rhode Island within six months of employment. The director will possess a minimum of seven years of experience working in mental health settings, with at least three years working in college mental health coupled with demonstrated leadership experience. The new director must possess the ability to articulate a comprehensive philosophy of psychological services and to provide leadership in the assessment of programs and services. The successful candidate will have a commitment to the developmental orientation of CAPS; experience and skill in the delivery of appropriate clinical, outreach, and consultative services to diverse populations of students; and a strong commitment to working with diverse clients including international students, individuals from ethnically/racially diverse backgrounds, and individuals representing various sexual orientations and gender identities.

Further, candidates must have experience with strategic planning, program planning, budgeting, and personnel matters as well as solid team management and coalition building skills. The director will have experience managing response to crisis situations, working as part of a Student Affairs support team, navigating complex, decentralized environments, and operating in interdisciplinary environments. The ability to work collaboratively with Health Services and Health Education staff to create an integrated model of wellness is necessary. Other required skills include the ability to identify and implement digital technology tools to enhance mental health services, demonstrated experience with computer information systems (Titanium preferred), highly effective interpersonal skills, and a collaborative approach to leadership. The director must be accessible after hours for consultation with front-line clinicians and administrators. To be successful at RISD, the director also must have an appreciation for the arts and the artist’s mind and view of the world.

Preferred qualification include an earned doctorate in counseling or clinical psychology from an APA-accredited program and knowledge of student development theory and psychological/college counseling trends and literature.

In addition to the above-stated qualifications and characteristics, RISD stakeholders identified the following characteristics as important to the director:

  • compassionate, accessible, transparent, ethical leader with excellent communication skills to clearly articulate vision, direction, and purpose;
  • strong ability to foster team building, self-care, sustainable work practices, and positive staff development experiences;
  • comfortable with data collection, analysis, and data-driven decision-making and the systems and assessment measures that support these processes;
  • embrace a holistic, community-wide approach to mental health that is a collective, institutional effort;
  • maintain a highly engaged relationship with students, staff, and faculty as well as a visible profile throughout the RISD community;
  • deep understanding of principles of diversity and social justice, with the ability to enhance equity and inclusive communities with students and staff of various social, cultural, and educational backgrounds;
  • demonstrated leadership ability with excellent management skills and the ability to build a solid framework to effectively develop and manage a complex office;
  • a strong foundation, values, and skills around cultural competence and the ability to engage in meaningful dialogue;
  • demonstrated commitment to a strong collaborative style and capacity to build bridges to departments, faculty, students, and the community to facilitate open discussions, joint ventures, and new initiatives;
  • credible, engaging, supportive, and approachable supervisor with knowledge of the responsibilities of each staff member’s position, respect for their work and contributions, and ability to advocate for their needs;
  • strong administrative abilities, including fiscal and budgetary skills, personnel management, and an understanding of technology and database management;
  • enthusiastic supporter of innovation and creative approaches to both enhance and grow programs and services;
  • highly energetic individual with a strong sense of self and ability to appropriately infuse humor and enthusiasm into the workplace;
  • aware of national issues affecting campuses and the ability to collaborate with faculty, staff, and students to work through such issues;
  • foster an environment encouraging active professional development and training for the entire staff;
  • serve as an expert resource on mental health issues for the campus community;
  • knowledge of strategic planning, project development, and organizational change management; and
  • maintain a commitment to continual improvement and professional development by being actively engaged in professional associations and alert to evolving trends and emerging best practices.


Counseling and Psychological Services

RISD’s Office of Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) provides a range of mental health services to help students improve emotional, interpersonal, and academic functioning, including:

  • individual and group counseling, at no additional cost, to any matriculated undergraduate or graduate student
  • recommendations to off-campus providers
  • consultation to faculty, staff, and parents who may have concerns about a student
  • outreach events and training related to educating and improving mental health within the college community
  • a counselor on call (for after-hours mental health emergencies)
  • psychiatric services (upon recommendation from a CAPS counselor)

Emotional well-being is essential to personal development and integral to the creative process. Counseling provides a space to address issues that may be interfering with one’s work. Seeing a counselor helps an individual respond to the situation before it escalates.

For more information: CAPS Website

Leadership of the Office of Integrated Health and Wellness

Dr. Robert Samuels – Executive Director of Integrated Health and Wellness

Robert (Bob) Samuels holds a BA in sociology, certificates in proficiency in afro-american studies and science in human affairs from Princeton University, and an MS and PhD in clinical psychology from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

Samuels joined RISD as the inaugural executive director of integrated health and wellness in May, 2020, after serving as director of the counseling center at the University of Rhode Island for 13 years. He is responsible for the successful delivery of health and wellness services to the RISD community, including Counseling and Psychological Services, Health Services, and health promotion and education, ensuring these services align with and are supportive of RISD’s overall mission.

Samuels previously served as the interim director and associate dean of student life at Brown University, as well as the assistant director of psychological services. He was also a clinical assistant professor in the department of psychiatry and human behavior at Brown University, as well as an adjunct faculty member in the department of clinical psychology at the University of Rhode Island.

An Overview of the Office of Student Affairs

Student Affairs at RISD provides opportunities for all students to develop personally, socially, and intellectually. In support of the college’s academic mission, we foster the skills engaged citizens need for success and achievement. We create active learning environments that support students’ co-curricular experience. Our programming and services reflect the values of community, inclusiveness, responsibility, leadership, and well-being.

The Office of Student Affairs serves as a general advocate for all RISD students. In other words, we are the people to turn to when a student has financial aid concerns, needs to take a leave or withdraw from RISD, or when they are not quite sure whom to ask about a particular need.


Leadership of the Office of Student Affairs

James O’Hara – Vice President for Enrollment Management and Student Affairs

Jamie O’Hara joined RISD’s leadership team in September 2017 after serving as vice president for Enrollment Management at Rider University in Lawrenceville, NJ since 2004. At RISD he oversees enrollment strategies that enable the college to continue to attract and retain the best and most talented students from increasingly diverse backgrounds.

As Rider’s first vice president for Enrollment Management, O’Hara built all aspects of undergraduate, graduate, and international admissions from the ground up, including oversight of Financial Aid and the Bursar’s Office. During his 13-year tenure, he also oversaw web and digital strategy and enrollment marketing planning. He designed and implemented innovative financial aid strategies to diversify the student community and achieve enrollment goals, and also supervised a research program focused on factors that contribute to student matriculation, success, and progress towards graduation.

Prior to his work at Rider, O’Hara served as director of Enrollment Management at Pace University in New York for seven years. He began his career at his alma mater, Marist College in Poughkeepsie, NY, and also served as director of the US admissions office for Franklin College Switzerland.

O’Hara assumed responsibility for the Office of Student Affairs in addition to his enrollment management responsibilities in the fall of 2019.

Dr. Barbara LoMonaco – Associate Vice President of Student Affairs

Barbara LoMonaco holds a BA in philosophy and an MA and PhD in cultural anthropology from Southern Methodist University. She is also a certified addictions counselor and therapist who worked in community mental health and private practice in Chicago.

At RISD, LoMonaco oversees the Center for Student Involvement, Residence Life, Counseling and Psychological Services, Intercultural Student Engagement, Student Conduct and Compliance, Disabilities Services and Academic Support, Health Services, and International Student Services. For four years before joining RISD’s leadership team in 2019, she was the vice president for student affairs at Salve Regina University.

Institution & Location


Institutional Background/History

Rhode Island School of Design is a private, nonprofit college founded in Providence, Rhode Island in 1877, making it one of the first art and design schools in the U.S. Approximately 2,500 students from around the world are engaged in liberal arts studies and rigorous, studio-based learning at RISD (pronounced “RIZ-dee’), where they earn bachelor’s or master’s degrees in 21 major. Each year more than 5,800 children and adults also access RISD’s specialized studio facilities through RISD Continuing Education courses.

As one of the first independent colleges of art and design in the U.S.—incorporated on March 22, 1877 as both a school and museum—Rhode Island School of Design has always stood out as something of a maverick. By the time RISD began offering full bachelor’s degree programs in the 1930s, its reputation for vision and leadership in advanced studio-based education had already begun to grow.

RISD was founded and nurtured by a small group of women more than 40 years before women in America even gained the right to vote. That year Helen Adelia Rowe Metcalf urged 34 members of the Rhode Island Women’s Centennial Commission to invest their group’s surplus funding of $1,675—which they had raised for RI’s contribution to the Philadelphia Centennial Exhibition in 1876—in founding a school of art and design (instead of building a public fountain, one of the other options on the table).

The idea behind the college was driven by the desire to support the state’s thriving textiles and jewelry industries in particular, with the first courses of study offered at RISD addressing two main areas: Freehand Drawing and Painting and Mechanical Drawing and Design.

Under Metcalf’s able leadership, the women who founded RISD embarked on a radical experiment that set a precedent for its ongoing commitment to challenging expectations.


Eliza Radeke

In pouring her time, energy, vision, and funds into running the institution and ensuring its survival, Metcalf was joined by her daughter Eliza Radeke, who from 1913–31 was the first woman to serve as RISD’s president.

An avid and eclectic collector, Radeke worked closely with artists, dealers, and museum directors to develop the RISD Museum’s extensive collection and funded the construction of the gallery that connects Pendleton House to the 1926 museum building named in her honor.

Radeke was then succeeded by her niece, Helen Metcalf Danforth, who was president from 1931–47 before serving as RISD’s first Board of Trustees chair from 1947–65. It was during her tenure that RISD earned the right to grant college degrees (as opposed to certificates) in 1932 and became a fully accredited college in 1949.

About Providence, Rhode Island

Founded in 1636, Providence is one of the oldest cities in the United States. With its colorful mix of historic and modern architecture, the Creative Capital offers a college-town feel with a city’s thriving concert, arts, and theater scene—think big city on a welcoming scale.

Readers of Travel + Leisure have ranked Providence as “America’s Favorite City.” Other accolades include:

  • Top 10 Best New Food City by Jetsetter
  • Best City for Foodies and Night Owls by Travel + Leisure
  • 15 Cities for Creative 20-somethings by Huffington Post
  • Top 7 Cities for Pizza by Huffington Post
  • Best Small City by Architectural Digest

And with more than 30,000 college students living in the city, it is also the ultimate college town. The city is diverse and welcoming, with lots of collegiate and cultural events to participate in.

Providence is located at the head of Narragansett Bay, with the Providence River running through the center of the city into the bay.

Providence has 25 official neighborhoods, many of which are a quick walk from RISD’s Downcity Campus:

  • East Side: Home to Brown University and Rhode Island School of Design, as well as the unique shops and restaurants along Thayer, Hope and Wickenden streets.
  • Jewelry District: This former industrial area has become the Knowledge District, the city’s medical-education corridor. It is where one finds the Johnson and Wales University’s Center for Physician Assistant Studies, Brown’s Alpert Medical School, and RISD’s latest academic building, the John J. Bowen Center for Science and Innovation.
  • Federal Hill: Italian markets, restaurants, and bakeries line historic Atwells Avenue.
  • West Side: Also known as the Armory District. Home to an eclectic group of restaurants (including alum-run spots like Nicks on Broadway, North and North Bakery), bars, coffee shops, and markets.

The city is filled with art and entertainment, from live music venues to big screen multiplexes, small art house cinemas, and an IMAX.

One can walk to four of the Downcity Arts District’s performing arts centers from campus:

  • Trinity Repertory, New England’s oldest theater company;
  • Providence Performing Arts Center, for touring Broadway productions, comedians and concerts;
  • Veterans Memorial Auditorium, for dance, classical, and standup;
  • AS220, a nonprofit community arts center that includes unjuried performance spaces, galleries, digital and fabrication labs, and live/work spaces for artists.

Providence is home to an AHL hockey team, The Providence Bruins, as well as the Pawtucket Red Sox, the AAA affiliate of the Boston Red Sox.

Super Bowl champions—the New England Patriots—play just a short drive away, in Foxborough, Mass.

Providence is within 45 minutes from Boston, Cape Cod, and Newport, and a quick three hour trip from New York City.

Known as the “Ocean State,” Rhode Island has 400+ miles of coastline with 100 beaches. The state has 20 percent of the nation’s registered landmarks, most of them in Providence and Newport, which is known as the sailing capital of the world.

This is New England, so expect snow and rain. On the plus side, summers are sunny and warm.

  • Summer average temp: 72°F
  • Winter average temp: 30°F

Mission and Values


The mission of Rhode Island School of Design, through its college and museum, is to educate its students and the public in the creation and appreciation of works of art and design, to discover and transmit knowledge and to make lasting contributions to a global society through critical thinking, scholarship, and innovation.


We value the material practices of artists and designers as principal modes of engagement with the wider world.

We value the necessary and crucial contribution of deep disciplinary understanding to effective interdisciplinary practice.

We value collaborative interplay across design, fine arts and the liberal arts to cultivate deep literacies, to shape cumulative understanding, to transform thought, and to expand making practices.

We value experimental, contextual and culturally diverse methods of creative practice and rigorous scholarship as essential ways of creating knowledge and engaging with complexity and uncertainty.

We value enlightened engagement with emerging and evolving technologies, along with critical reflection on the interests those technologies serve and the impact they have on diverse peoples, communities, and the planet.

We value a classroom, studio, and campus environment that advances principles of social equity and inclusion, environmental and climate justice, and equal access to resources and opportunities.

We value the development of lifelong skills that integrate the physical, emotional, and mental well-being of our entire community.

We value the careful stewardship of our human, financial, and physical resources.

We value our role as a place-based institution with a commitment to furthering progress in Providence and Rhode Island through mutually beneficial engagement with the community.

Strategic Plan

NEXT: RISD 2020-27

NEXT, RISD’s seven-year strategic plan, builds on our progressive roots and willingness to experiment, iterate, and embrace change.

Created collaboratively by members of the RISD community, the strategic plan proposes how we intend to educate students for the future and bring our current creative practices to bear on today’s most critical social, political, and environmental challenges.


  • further diversifying our community and expanding access to RISD
  • advancing understanding of social equity and inclusion through research and education
  • promoting civic learning and action through cohesive community engagement practices


  • adopting renewable energy sources and green building practices on campus
  • advancing critical research at the nexus of art, design, and living systems
  • aligning our research and studio work in this area with a global network of experts


  • developing innovative curricula and pedagogy that reflect our values
  • increasing our overall research capacity and output
  • establishing an ecosystem of labs to support interdisciplinary inquiry and exchange


Rosanne Somerson – President

Rosanne Somerson is an American-born woodworker, furniture designer/maker, educator, and current President of Rhode Island School of Design. An artist connected with the early years of the Studio Furniture, her work and career have been influential to the field.

Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, she began her undergraduate degree at Rhode Island School of Design in photography, but switched her focus, and received her BFA degree in Industrial Design in 1976. During this time of transition, she took a semester off of her studies at RISD to attend full-time furniture making workshops at Peter’s Valley Craftsmen (Peter’s Valley School of Craft). After graduation, Somerson worked as a correspondent for Fine Woodworking magazine. She also assisted for photography with her former professor and mentor Tage Frid’s three-part book series, “Tage Frid Teaches Woodworking,” published by Taunton Press (1996).

 She taught woodworking with the Harvard Extension School from 1977 to 1978, and at the Boston Architectural Center in 1981. Somerson joined the Rhode Island School of Design faculty in 1985. Starting in 1985, Somerson ran the MFA Graduate Program in Furniture Design and she co-founded the creation of the Furniture Design department in 1995. She served as RISD’s interim associate provost for Academic Affairs from 2005 to 2007, as interim provost from 2011 to 2012, as provost from 2012 to 2013, and as interim president from 2014 to 2015. The RISD Board of Trustees appointed her the college’s 17th president in February 18, 2015.

After being appointed president of the university in February 2015, Somerson’s first speaking engagements as president came in the spring at the National Art Education Association Annual Convention and at South By Southwest EDU, where she discussed the impact of critical making. In April, 44 technicians at the college went on strike, but the three-day job action concluded with the ratification of their contract. In May, the work of Apparel Design seniors was showcased in New York City for the first time at RISD Backstudio. Somerson’s first semester as president concluded with filmmaker John Waters delivering the college’s commencement address. His remarks went viral and have been turned into a book.

Kent Kleinman – Provost

Before assuming the role of provost at RISD in 2019, Kent Kleinman was the Gale and Ira Drukier Dean of the College of Architecture, Art and Planning at Cornell University as well as professor in the Department of Architecture from 2008–18. He has taught at institutions internationally including the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna, the Hochschule der Kunst in Berlin, the Royal Academy in Copenhagen, and ETH Zürich, and was also a faculty member at the University at Michigan, chair of architecture at the State University of New York at Buffalo, and dean at Parsons School of Design, The New School.

Kleinman received his professional degree in architecture from the University of California at Berkeley. His scholarly focus is 20th-century European Modernism and his books include Villa Müller: A Work of Adolf Loos; Rudolf Arnheim: Revealing Vision; The Krefeld Villas: Mies’s Haus Lange and EstersAftertaste; and a translation of Jan Turnovsky’s Poetics of a Wall Projection. He was awarded a Mellon Foundation Senior Public Goods Fellowship in 2002 and was a visiting scholar at the Canadian Center for Architecture in 2005. He has received four Graham Foundation Grants, the national Bruner Prize, two Architect’s Journal 10 Best Books awards, a New York Council for the Arts grant and (with Eric Sutherland) a Progressive Architecture Design Award.

In 2012, Kleinman received the American Institute of Architects New York State Educator Honor Award and was recognized as a Top 25 Most Admired Educator by Design Intelligence in both 2016 and 2018. He is a co-principal investigator on a grant from the Mellon Foundation focused on integrating architecture and the humanities in the study of urbanism. He is a registered architect in California.

The Student Body

2,501 total enrollment (2019/20)

2,009 undergraduate students (2019/20)

492 graduate students (2019/20)

32% students of color (2018/19)

36% international (from 69 countries, 2018/19)

Academic Programs and Faculty

181 full-time (2018/19)

421 part-time (2018/19)

9:1 student/faculty ratio (fall 2019)





A major cultural institution in Rhode Island, the RISD Museum houses approximately 100,000 works of fine and decorative art ranging from ancient times to the present. It is the only comprehensive art museum in southeastern New England and, as such, is a vital resource both for RISD and the broader community.

With seven curatorial departments, the museum offers a rich and varied program of exhibitions, lectures, tours, workshops, and publications. It is dedicated to the interpretation of art and design from diverse cultures and to educating and inspiring artists and designers, families, scholarly researchers, and students of all ages.

Nature Lab

As a campus-wide resource and forum for exploring the exciting connections between art, design and science, the Nature Lab is a hub for research, with staff and facilities to help support the increasing number of science courses offered at RISD. Students find a natural entry point here for addressing issues of sustainable living through biodesign—emerging areas of inquiry that include biomimetics, biophilic design, and the use of natural and biological materials in architecture and building systems.

Deep observation of the disparate collections housed at the Nature Lab—from nearly nano-scale to life-sized objects—provides students the opportunity to touch and examine specimens from the natural world, discover the wonder and complexities of design in nature and inform their studio work through the processes, materials, and organizing principles found in the living world. Selected specimens may also be borrowed for short periods of time—like checking a book out of the library.


Students in all disciplines make use of a wide range of advanced equipment available at Co-Works for 3D printing, 3D scanning, CNC routing, laser cutting, vacuum forming, machine embroidery and knitting, and more.

This state-of-the-art fabrication lab also hosts seminars, studio courses, and special research projects undertaken by faculty and graduate students.

Created to support and enhance cross-disciplinary learning, Co-Works is an ideal space for deep exploration of concepts and topics unencumbered by departmental boundaries.

RISD Library

Founded in 1878, the RISD library is one of the country’s oldest independent art college libraries. Its circulating collection of more than 150,000 volumes offers unusual depth and richness in the areas of art, architecture, design, and photography.

The collection provides strong historical and contemporary perspectives and specialized materials in landscape architecture, ceramics, textiles, and jewelry to support upper-level research. RISD’s specialized library is also noted for its artist’s books collection, rare books, some 400 periodical subscriptions, and collection of outstanding visual resources.

Center for Arts and Language (A&L)

The Center for Arts & Language’s exceptional team of staff and tutors provides individualized guidance for all RISD students, who may seek support on anything from an academic research paper to an artist’s talk, from the mechanics of a single sentence to the design of a whole graduate thesis book. RISD takes pride in its commitment to language as a vital tool for artists and designers, and A&L dedicates itself to helping students become more confident and proficient communicators.

Gelman Student Exhibitions Gallery

Located on the second floor of the Chace Center, the Gelman Student Exhibitions Gallery and the Dryfoos Gallery for new media within it are at the heart of campus both literally and figuratively. The galleries offer unparalleled learning opportunities for students along with ideal space for showcasing student work and making it readily accessible to museum visitors and other members of the general public.

Benefits Overview

Among the employment benefits RISD offers are:

  • Medical and dental insurance plans
  • Retirement plan
  • Generous paid time off
  • Flexible work arrangements
  • Employee assistance program
  • Tuition remission for dependents
  • Flexible spending account
  • Health savings account

For more information: RISD Benefit Package for Staff 


Application & Nomination

Review of applications will begin November 4, 2020 and continue until the position is filled. To apply for this position please click on the Apply button, complete the brief application process, and upload your resume and position-specific cover letter. Nominations for this position may be emailed to Heather J. Larabee at Applicants needing reasonable accommodation to participate in the application process should contact Spelman Johnson at 413-529-2895.

Visit the RISD website at

RISD recognizes diversity and inclusivity as fundamental to its learning community and integral to an art and design education. RISD welcomes candidates whose experience has prepared them to contribute to its commitment to diversity and excellence. RISD is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Employment decisions are made without regard to race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, genetics, or any other protected characteristic as established by law.