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RISD faculty to vote no confidence in university president

March 1, 2011

Faculty at the Rhode Island School of Design are poised to take a no confidence vote on University President John Maeda. The vote follows a decision last week not to endorse a new strategic plan Maeda has floated for the school.

In an informal vote, just 31 members of the RISD faculty said they would support Maeda’s strategic plan, while 142 refused to back it. According to one department head, the plan calls for fewer required credits to graduate and an end to the RISD tradition of Wintersession, during which students take a single intensive course often outside their major.

RISD administrators crafted the strategic plan with input from faculty, but some professors say the appearance of a no confidence motion on Wednesday’s faculty meeting agenda reflects a growing divide between Maeda and his top administrators and many faculty members.

Maeda has been a controversial figure at RISD since he arrived in 2008. The former MIT Media Lab administrator has overseen budget cuts following the economic downturn. Some faculty credit Maeda with raising significant funding for student scholarships and improving facilities at RISD.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. St. John permalink
    March 3, 2011 1:29 pm

    Well it happened–142-32 against President and Provost—this amounts to a “recall” vote from the faculty, the one group left on campus who cannot be silenced by an authoritarian Board Chairman and her experimental and inexperienced president. Let the investigative journalims begin! And contrary to misinformation, the last time the RISD faculty as a whole voted no confidence in a presidenr was 1982, and that president was Lee Hall


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