FAQs + Comments

What is a campus master plan?
A campus master plan is a framework for decision making about the facilities of the college, in support of the strategic plan. It addresses the needs of the college over a 20 year time frame.

When was the master plan done?
The master plan process began in February 2013 and the final plan was approved in May 2015 by the Board of Trustees.

Now that the plan is approved, what happens?
The master plan calls for development and coordination of a series of integrated planning structures. Foremost as relates to the master plan is the Campus Master Plan Committee, a group of faculty, staff and students who will meet monthly to review and assess capital projects as they are developed, ensure alignment of projects with the master plan and its principles, track progress on master plan goals, and recommend modifications to the plan as needed over time.

What if I have an idea for a project?
The RISD Project Development Process document outlines the steps to develop and advance a project idea.

The master plan doesn’t say where departments will be located. How will I know if my department is going to be relocated or stay where we are?
Many master plans identify the eventual location of departments in both new and existing facilities. Plans of this type often (in fact, most of the time) do not unfold as planned due to changes in enrollments, pedagogies, technologies, funding, and/or leadership that were not anticipated. RISD has chosen to develop a framework for data-driven decision making that is flexible enough to accommodate a variety of futures. As projects move forward in the planning pipeline we will assess campus needs and make decisions about occupants based on what makes the most sense for the immediate future. Our commitment to design new and renovating old facilities to be highly adaptable will help ensure that longer-term future needs could be accommodated more easily.

Why are projects happening that aren’t explicitly listed in the master plan?
The master plan identified the major projects that we see needed to advance RISD’s strategic missions. Other smaller projects will arise to address specific programmatic needs that were not anticipated in the master plan development. The master plan specifically did not try to project into the future as far as specific programmatic needs were so that projects could develop in real time as needs arise. The Campus Master Plan Committee will ensure that all projects align with the master plan, or recommend changes to the master plan when necessary.

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