Decision-Making Principles

RISD will succeed in overcoming this crisis only if we work together. We will need to make difficult decisions, some we never expected to be faced with. But guided by our values and a set of decision-making principles, we will do so with integrity, transparency and humanity.

  1. We will work to safeguard the health and wellbeing of the RISD community and our surrounding communities
    All decisions we make will seek to mitigate the chance of students, faculty and employees acquiring the virus and spreading it to others in our extended communities.
  2. We will honor the educational model for which RISD is renowned
    In deciding what areas or activities to protect—and even expand—teaching and learning and our museum will take precedence over activities that are less central to RISD’s core mission.
  3. We will not be afraid to adapt—sometimes dramatically—to survive and thrive in the future
    While we will work to protect our academic core, we will not be afraid to alter the structures, methods and processes surrounding how we deliver a RISD education. We will make decisions that both honor our legacy and promote innovative and productive change adapting that legacy to our new times. We will prioritize change that positions us for success beyond the pandemic.
  4. We will continue our commitment to our strategic priorities
    All decisions will be made in alignment with our core values, institutional mission and strategic priorities, as outlined in our strategic plan. We remain committed to our strategic plan, RISD Next: 2020-2027, and its three strategic pillars—social equity and inclusion, sustainability and development of new knowledge.
  5. We will work to mitigate the financial impact on students to the greatest extent possible
    We are committed to ensuring students are able to start or continue their RISD education. We will continue to increase financial aid for both undergraduate and graduate students. This crisis has amplified the challenge that our tuition dependency creates. We will prioritize activities that generate revenue and increase accessibility.
  6. We will make decisions that are equitable, fair and respectful of all members of our community
    Responding to the challenges we face will require shared commitment across the institution, regardless of department, division, tenure or position. We will communicate regularly to keep all constituencies informed and able to work toward collective solutions in a fair and respectful manner.
  7. We will protect the long-term sustainability of the Institution
    We will make decisions to protect RISD in the short term while not risking the long-term viability and vitality of the Institution. We will review assumptions about current use of resources and redirect resources to gain efficiency. We will protect our endowment, continue to prioritize fundraising and seek new, innovative ways to generate revenue.
  8. We will make decisions with honesty and transparency
    Students, faculty, alumni, parents, museum patrons, donors and staff will be kept informed about challenges as they arise and will be given opportunities to provide input as decisions are made.