RISD No Confidence Vote

In March 2011, various professors at the Rhode Island School of Design put forth a vote of no confidence against Maeda and his newly-promoted provost, Jessie Shefrin.  In it, 146 faculty members voted in favor of the no confidence vote, with only 32 voting their support for Maeda’s leadership–though Co.Design points out that that only comprised ‘ just 36% of the faculty in the degree program.’  Despite this, the board of trustees held their support of Maeda, and has had his contract extended until at least 2015, according to the Providence Journal.

Some of the complaints put forth by the faculty were the feelings of fear and that their comments were being ignored by the leadership.  Even students felt that way, as one student at a protest was reported by the Chronicle of Higher Education as saying, “…the whole time he was sitting talking to us, I never got the sense that he was hearing what we were saying. He was just repeating his own thoughts.”

Since that time, there have been some changes made by Maeda’s administration.  Jessie Shefrin resigned shortly after the vote of no confidence, and Maeda began to work with his faculty on improving communication.

References:

http://chronicle.com/article/A-College-Unfriends-Its/127334/

http://www.mediabistro.com/unbeige/months-after-vote-of-no-confidence-changes-at-risd-and-with-john-maeda_b13970

http://news.providencejournal.com/breaking-news/2011/05/risd-provost-resignsready.html

http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2011/03/16/rhode_island_school_of_design_faculty_vote_against_president_for_specific_and_universal_reasons

http://news.providencejournal.com/breaking-news/2012/03/-providence—j.html

http://www.fastcodesign.com/1663702/john-maeda-mulls-risds-backlash-against-his-cyber-style-leadership

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