GRAND RAPIDS – As Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University begins the search for its next president, it has turned to one of its most experienced faculty to provide academic leadership.
Interim President Oliver Evans announced today, June 20, that Graphic Design professor Ron Riksen has been named interim dean of the college. It is a two-year appointment. Riksen has taught at KCAD for 43 years, and will use his understanding of the institution’s mission and strong existing relationship with the faculty to help guide the college forward.
“Ron knows the college,” Evans said. “He is committed to its future. He is committed to build on the good work of the last two years to ensure that Kendall continues to have impact on the world of art and design.”
Riksen joined the KCAD faculty in 1971. Throughout his tenure, he has actively helped the college expand its campus, program offerings, and engagement with art and design culture in West Michigan and beyond. He has served as chair of both the Graphic Design and Illustration programs. He also served on the faculty evaluation, tenure, promotion, and sabbatical committee for the past 10 years, eight of which he served as chair.
“I am humbled and honored to have the opportunity to become the Interim Dean of the College,” Riksen said. “KCAD has been, and always will be, a very important part of my life. For over 40 years I’ve been able to share my love of teaching creativity and design with our great students. In all that time there has never been a day where working here has felt like a job to me.”
In his new role, Riksen will work directly with students, faculty and staff to facilitate future growth and continued impact throughout KCAD’s creative ecosystem.
“KCAD is always growing,” Riksen said. “Our graduates are getting great jobs and we are making a positive difference, in the art and design community as well as the world. I am blessed to have been an integral part of the college’s success and am looking forward to our bright future.”
Riksen will officially assume his responsibilities on July 1.