Assistant Director, Alumni Education

Department Overview

RISD Continuing Education (CE) functions within the larger context of RISD, an institution with an unparalleled reputation for producing highly-skilled, successful, and internationally renowned creative practitioners. A wide variety of creative experiences await adult students at RISD Continuing Education. We offer courses and certificate programs in a broad range of visual arts and design disciplines (both traditional and digital), as well as in topics related to art and design as integral parts of our lives and culture. We schedule these courses year-round, during the Fall, Winter, Spring, and Summer terms.

With more than 100 years of expertise nurturing critical making, thinking, and innovation and applying the principles of art and design to the requirements of trade and manufacturing, RISD Continuing Education Certificate Programs are designed to facilitate personal and professional development by engaging students in sustained exploration and learning in specific creative disciplines. These non-credit certificates are flexible, designed to accommodate both students’ learning interests and schedules, and provide robust, studio-based learning that is current, relevant, and integrally connected to the creative economy. These programs equip students with the skills, confidence, proficiency, and real-world experience to accelerate their creative lives and work.

Our students are diverse, coming from a wide range of geographic, socioeconomic, and cultural backgrounds, representing all forms of diversity. We seek a culturally competent candidate who will thrive in a campus environment that advances principles of social equity and inclusion, environmental and climate justice, and equal access to resources and opportunities.

Job Summary

RISD Continuing Education (CE) is seeking an Assistant Director, Alumni Education for a three-year term position. The ideal candidate takes an entrepreneurial approach to creating and executing bespoke revenue-generating e ducational offerings of art and design programs that will provide RISD alumni opportunities for professional development, networking, and engagement opportunities. As well, this position recommends and implements the short- and long-term plans for growth and development of RISD Alumni engagement professional programming.

The Assistant Director will be responsible for the administration and building of programs from the ground up; starting with:

  • Understanding the landscape via formal and informal market research, focus groups, alumni surveys, and community outreach;

  • Designing the structure and selecting instructors as they curate a custom set of offerings and opportunities; planning, coordinating, monitoring, evaluating, and supervising all aspects of these courses and programs to ensure that curriculum standards and best practices of educational delivery are maintained and that all courses/programs run smoothly.

This role approves related course offerings and makes decisions regarding instructor hires/rehires; analyzes tuitions, competition, off-site locations, and program expenses. The Assistant Director, Alumni Education works closely with the dynamic and highly collaborative teams in CE and the Office of Alumni + Family Relations to ensure the successful relationship between engagement and programming is integrated with other forms of institutional engagement, as well as other campus and external partners to deliver the highest standards.

Essential Functions

  • Lead the creation of the RISD Alumni engagement revenue-generating program (Alumni Labs): Develop a comprehensive plan for a program that leverages RISD’s core strengths, reputation, and resources to provide RISD alumni with professional development, personal enrichment, networking, and/or career advancement opportunities.

  • Manage and oversee the design, development, implementation, and assessment of new and innovative programs including designing curriculum, recruiting instructors, and assisting in proposing business plans based on market research. Research, explore, design and/or propose new programs and courses.

  • Provide leadership and management of expanding offerings based on alumni surveys, focus groups, and other outreach efforts.

  • Work closely and collaboratively with staff in CE and the Office of Alumni + Family Relations. Maintain superior communication with both teams in order to maintain a superior student experience. Identifies, builds, and stewards relationships with a variety of constituents to identify educational needs and opportunities of RISD Alumni.

  • Manage the recruitment, training, negotiations, orientation, evaluation, review, reappointment, and professional development of instructors.

  • Collaborate with CE Marketing staff and outside vendors to develop all promotional materials, and content to be included on the CE website and promotional materials.

  • Analyze and review budgetary and financial data and control in accordance with established limitations in order to collaborate with the Director for Continuing Education’s Enrollment and Business Operations to use data-driven trends to develop and prepare the annual preliminary budget for the Alumni Labs program.

  • Develop and implement systems to assess the effectiveness of all programs, advising the Executive Director (ED) and Director of CE Programming and Development on such efforts through the promulgation of written recommendations, action plans, and reports. Contribute to the establishment of annual goals, objectives, and action plans for CE and the Office of Alumni + Family Relations. Demonstrate a willingness to rethink the direction and thrust of all programs.

  • Serves as primary liaison with the Office of Alumni + Family Relations including the development of quarterly reports to the ED of Alumni + Family Relations and, annually, to the Leadership Council of the Alumni Association.

  • In collaboration with the ED of the Office of Alumni + Family Relations, engage with volunteer advisors to shape programming.

  • Work collaboratively and synergistically with alumni relations and other RISD departments to cultivate and secure volunteer hosts for classes.

Required Knowledge/Skills/Experience

Bachelor's Degree in arts administration/management, art education, art and design, or related field required, Masters Degree preferred or equivalent combination of education and experience. Four to six years previous experience with some or all of the following areas: Arts and design knowledge, including alumni programming, coordinating and/or managing revenue-generating program development/implementation. Proven experience with relationship-building and ability to work collaboratively with internal peers and external partners in a fast-paced environment. The Assistant Director must also have strong time management skills, be organized, be a confident decision-maker and self-starter who can work autonomously when needed, and has strong people management and communications skills. Demonstrated experience in teaching courses/programs for a diverse audience. Proven leadership experience developing short- and long-term plans which align to and support the overarching goals and strategy in an arts or educational environment and demonstrated ability to deliver comprehensive, cutting-edge, innovative programming. Knowledge and understanding of educational markets and trends in an effort to determine the viability of programs. Evidence of the ability to work effectively with diverse communities, including RISD Alumni from across generations, ethnicities, and global communities. Ability to identify and steward business development relationships that result in high impact outcomes. Excellent and effective communication skills and the ability to manage multiple priorities.





Work Schedule:

35 hours per week

Employment Status:

Full-time, Exempt

Three-year term

Documents Needed to Apply:


Cover Letter

Incomplete applications will not be considered. Please upload all required documents.

The successful candidate will be required to meet our pre-employment background screening requirements.

For certain positions, RISD is currently supporting remote work arrangements due to the pandemic. When work resumes in person, employees are expected to perform work on campus.

RISD recognizes diversity and inclusivity as fundamental to its learning community and integral to an art and design education. We welcome candidates whose experience has prepared them to contribute to our 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.

For internal use only - Job Family:

CE - Operations

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