Job Listings

Associate Dean for Administration (2 positions)

Rhode Island School of Design
Job Location:
Providence, Rhode Island
Fine and Applied Arts Deans

Associate Deans for Administration

Two positions of Associate Dean have been newly created to enable and advance the goals outlined in RISD’s bold Strategic Plan – NEXT: RISD 2020-2027 RISD is creatively reimagining organizational, administrative, and financial models to reduce its reliance on tuition, increase financial aid, improve institutional operations, more effectively use its resources and ensure its long-term financial stability. These foundational improvements will allow RISD to reflect more effectively the ethos of experimentation and collaboration on which it was founded, bringing its educational approach and creative practices to bear on today’s most critical social, political and environmental challenges.

As the senior administrative officers for their respective Divisions, the Associate Deans will work closely with their respective Deans to provide leadership and direction by creating and implementing policies and procedures that promote and sustain effective and efficient operations, ensure collegial partnerships, and deliver the highest level of service.

The Associate Deans will manage divisional operating budgets, equipment budgets, technology, and space allocations, ensuring the principles of equal access to resources and opportunities. Additionally, they will be responsible for the direction and leadership of the Division’s administrative personnel, including academic coordinators, divisional technicians, and divisional IT coordinators.

The Associate Deans are responsible for coordinating with RISD’s central administrative and financial offices including Facilities, Enrollment Management, HR, Finance, Information Technology Services, Academic Budgets and Resources, and Academic Administration, and for building and fostering positive relationships with institutional stakeholders across the RISD community by demonstrating respect and inclusivity.

The Associate Dean for Administration – Fine Arts

The Associate Dean serves as the chief administrative officer for the Division of Fine Arts. The Division has ten departments: Ceramics; Film/Animation/Video; Glass; Illustration; Jewelry + Metalsmithing, Painting; Photography; Printmaking; Sculpture; and Textiles. There are 899 students, 61 full-time faculty, 26 academic staff, and 143 part-time faculty. The annual budget is approximately

$15.3 million.

The Associate Dean for Administration – Architecture + Design

The Associate Dean serves as the chief administrative officer for the Division of Architecture + Design. The Division has seven departments: Apparel Design; Architecture; Furniture Design, Graphic Design; Industrial Design; Interior Architecture; and Landscape Architecture. There are 1107 students, 71 full-time faculty, 26 academic staff, and 194 part-time faculty. The annual budget is approximately $17.2 million.

Specific Areas of Responsibility

1. Administration

? Monitor compliance with contracts, policies and procedures for the Division and its Departments and make recommendations as appropriate.

? Provide executive, and analytical support to the Dean; provide advice and input on strategic planning, priority setting, and resource allocation.

? Working closely with the Director, Institutional Data & Research Services, oversee data collection and analysis for reporting to internal and external constituencies to support accreditation and academic program review, and for long and short-term resource planning and decision making.

? Working with the offices of Enrollment, Admissions, and Registrar, use student data to project resource needs and inform budget planning.

? Supervise and evaluate department staff. Ensure department staffing (coordinators and technicians) levels, skills and resources are available to meet operational needs and college initiatives. Oversee orientation, onboarding and professional development for new hires and existing staff and providing access to necessary materials, resources, systems and trainings.

? Represent the Division and its Departments on college issues related to administration and administrative policies and procedures.

2. Finance

? Synthesize and analyze financial information and trends, develop and maintain multi-year financial planning model for divisional funds (encompassing all funding sources), and provide alternatives to inform effective decision-making and planning.

? Working closely with the Director, Academic Budgets and Resources (ABR), oversee operating budgets, equipment budgets, and other divisional resources. Collaborate with the Director, ABR, during the budget development process, and manage and prioritize requests for changes to departmental resource allocations.

? Manage and oversee expense approvals and student employment for divisional Departments and Programs.

? Oversee funds management to ensure available funds are used as planned, including budget vs. actual reviews, allocation of funds to departments in accordance with the policies of the Dean, and allocation of funds appropriately to meet long-term planning goals.

? Ensure compliance with restrictions on gift, endowed and grant funds.

3. Facilities and IT

? Responsible for the overall planning, programming and policy development for the use of divisional facilities, equipment, and spaces, in close collaboration with RISD Facilities Services as well as department heads, technicians and the Registrar’s Office, ensuring equitable access.

? Oversee and ensure equipment maintenance and replacement schedules/planning, with Academic Budgets and Planning office. Coordinate safety protocols and standards centrally with the office of EH&S.

? Develop and oversee the Division’s IT and shop plans, with input from IT and technicians, and integrate the divisional investments with college-wide strategic projects and priorities.


· Graduate degree or equivalent combination of education and experience in a higher education institution.

· Minimum of five years relevant experience, including a minimum of 3 years management experience

  • Demonstrated ability to provide supervisory leadership and project management in an academic environment.

· Demonstrated commitment to working successfully with individuals representing diverse backgrounds, circumstances, and perspectives.

· Strong financial and data analysis skills with the ability to synthesize and analyze data for meaningful action

· Commitment to prioritizing inclusivity, diversity and equity in executing key responsibilities.

· Excellent written and verbal communication, presentation skills, as well as advanced interpersonal skills.

· Proven experience and ability to work effectively, collegially, and collaboratively with faculty and administrators across the spectrum of a higher education institution.

· Interest in furthering professional development.

Rhode Island School of Design

Rhode Island School of Design is a private, nonprofit college founded in Providence, RI in 1877. It is one of the first art and design schools in the US. About 2,500 students from around the world engage in liberal arts studies and rigorous, studio-based learning at RISD (pronounced “RIZ-dee”), where they earn bachelor’s or master’s degrees in 22 majors. Each year more than 5,800 children and adults also participate in RISD Continuing Education courses. 

The mission of RISD, 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. RISD is further committed to amplifying the power of social equity and inclusion in art and design with the aim of creating a more just society and a better world. We seek two colleagues who will be energized by our mission and commitments and by the idea of joining RISD at a transformational moment and developing and defining these newly created positions. 

To apply

Sage Search Partners is assisting RISD with these searches. Confidential inquiries, nominations and applications (cover letter and resume) can be sent to

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