Vice Provost, Strategic Partnerships

Rhode Island, United States
Salary Not Specified
Mar 15, 2021
Employment Type
Full Time

Job Summary

Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) has a distinguished history of providing innovative leadership in art and design education and an ongoing commitment to creative experimentation and risk-taking. This progressive, inquisitive attitude permeates RISD’s campus culture, supporting the undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, curators, administrative, and support staff who form our community. RISD’s students are diverse, coming from a wide range of geographic, socioeconomic, and cultural backgrounds, representing all forms of diversity. The College strives to cultivate a culturally competent campus environment that advances principles of social equity and inclusion, environmental and climate justice, and equal access to resources and opportunities.

The Vice Provost for Strategic Partnerships (Vice Provost) is responsible for expanding RISD’s external partnerships with agencies, sponsors, and corporations, and for advancing RISD’s overall research activity. This position is a trusted member of the institution’s senior leadership, working closely with the President, the Provost, and academic deans and faculty members. The ideal candidate advances the creative and scholarly work of the faculty and students by advocating and providing institutional support for research and devising innovative ways of engaging external partners to support RISD’s research mission. As well, this role collaborates with the academic divisions and coordinates as needed with the Division of Institutional Engagement to achieve these goals.

Overall, the Vice Provost supervises five executive directors or directors, overseeing and coordinating the Office of Research and Strategic Partnerships, the Office of Continuing and Professional Education, RISD Careers, and RISD’s research labs, currently including the Edna W. Lawrence Nature Lab, the Center for Complexity, and Co-Works. Supervising the Executive Director of Continuing and Professional Education, the Vice Provost will oversee the establishment and development of professional educational programs for executive and non-traditional learners, a major strategic initiative.

Essential Functions

  • Advance the Institution's strategic goal of increasing external support for RISD research, scholarship, and creative work by conceptualizing and building a central resource to provide institution-wide assistance and expertise in grant writing, sponsorships, external partnerships, and grant management and compliance, especially within an art and design context. Diplomatically align ongoing initiatives in departments with best practices for partnership and advocate for research in higher education. Strategically oversee the assembly and management of a high-functioning, service-orientated team dedicated to assisting RISD’s researchers and scholars.

  • Increase the number and scale of partnered/sponsored projects and institutional, faculty, and faculty-student research grants. Work collaboratively with the Dean of Faculty to synchronize internal faculty development resources to encourage research activity and manage operational, grant, and other restricted funds in support of faculty and student research.

  • Align the goals and outcomes of the offices under the incumbent’s purview with the institution's commitments to social equity and inclusion and growing bodies of research relating to decoloniality and critical interventions in issues of power.

  • Oversee the growing ecosystem of non-departmental research labs and institutes, ensuring the sustainability of collaborative, co-located platforms for advanced inquiry for faculty and students.

  • Lead the development of a distinct entity dedicated to Continuing and Professional Education for non-degree and non-traditional students that encompasses the full spectrum of relevant audiences, markets, and sectors. With a nuanced understanding of the impact of art and design learning for individuals, communities, and organizations, develop the intellectual armature, brand identity, and suite of learning programs and courses to dramatically expand RISD’s external influence and generate positive net revenue to support core institutional activities.

  • Oversee the evolution of the Edna W. Lawrence Nature Lab into a hub for research activity focused on natural systems in art and design. Augment the Nature Lab’s teaching support function with externally-funded, faculty-led projects that advance RISD’s strategic priority to contribute to a sustainable planet and just societies.

  • Provide strategic oversight of RISD Careers, supporting its mission to advise and empower all students and alumni to translate their education into fulfilling professional experiences.

  • Serve on the Deans’ Council and other institutional standing and ad hoc committees. Represent the Provost and the academic interests of the College at campus and community events, and at national and international professional conferences and meetings.

  • Oversee the management of strategic and financial plans and budgets for each of the reporting areas.

  • Oversee the development and dissemination of policies related to each of the reporting areas.

Required Knowledge/Skills/Experience

Terminal Degree or professional equivalent through a combination of education and experience. At least seven years of instructional and/or administrative experience at an academic institution of higher education required, preferably in an institution of Art & Design, and at least 3 years of experience in a higher education leadership position. Substantive experience conducting research in the arts, design, and/or humanities, and broad understanding of research methodologies across disciplines. Excellent communication and presentation skills, and demonstrated ability to manage complex projects with multiple stakeholders. Demonstrated knowledge of multiple diverse cultures and ability to model such knowledge in a higher education context. Demonstrated leadership skills and understanding of the changing higher education environment on both local and global scales. Proven experience and ability to work effectively and collaboratively with faculty and administrators across the spectrum of a higher education institution. Strong managerial experience is required. Ability to manage and drive projects and plans to completion and to influence others outside of span of control. Ability to work and communicate inclusively and effectively within a broadly diverse community of faculty, staff, and students.



Work Schedule:

12 months per year

Employment Status:

Full-time, Exempt

Documents Needed to Apply:


*Cover Letter

*Special Instructions:

Applicants are requested to include in their cover letter information about how they will further the College’s goal of building a diverse, equitable, and inclusive community.

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:

Academic Affairs