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An Ugly, Behind the Scenes Look at Hope Alswang’s Resignation from RISD

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Back in August, there was something of a mysterious cloud hanging over Providence, Rhode Island. At the Rhode Island School of Design Museum of Art, Hope Alswang, its director had suddenly and without warning announced that she was resigning immediately. She wasn’t talking, everyone was caught off guard, and the reasons behind it all remained a mystery. We’d only heard mention of it again later that month, in a brief passage in this AP report about the university’s president, John Maeda, and his second year in the position. But now, some four months later, the Boston Globe‘s Geoff Edgers has done some brilliant reporting in trying to get to the bottom of the matter. In it, it paints a picture of Alswang and Maeda clashing from the start, with neither one of them coming out of the piece looking very clean. It’s a great inside look at the mysterious situation itself (neither party has still said much of anything), but also a far more candid peek at Maeda’s first year at the head of RISD than we’d ever previously been privy to.

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