Mission and Core Values


Ringling College of Art and Design recognizes that artists and designers play a significant role in society. The College’s primary mission is to provide programs leading to degrees that prepare students to be discerning visual thinkers and ethical practitioners.

Visual arts and creative professionals must understand diverse aspects of past and present cultures, and develop their capacity for creative expression and effective communication. Ringling’s curriculum, therefore, balances the teaching of technical knowledge and skills with the development of critical, conceptual and creative abilities and supports courses that provide historical, multicultural, global and future perspectives. Ringling faculty consists of professionally active and teaching-oriented artists, designers and scholars.

Ringling College of Art and Design strives to enroll both full- and part-time students from diverse backgrounds who intend to become professionals in the visual arts. Through its policies and practices, the College supports excellence in teaching and fosters the aesthetic, intellectual, professional, personal, and social development of its students. Academic programs and advising, career services, and an extensive co-curricular student life program prepare students for an art or design profession, or when appropriate, for continued studies on the graduate level.

In addition to its degree program, Ringling College offers courses, lectures, exhibitions and other art related services to the local, national and international communities through its museum, galleries, library, continuing education and community service programs.

Through the efforts of its Board of Trustees, administrators, faculty, support staff, alumni, and friends, Ringling endeavors to provide the necessary resources, services and environment to fulfill its institutional mission.

Founded in 1931, Ringling College of Art and Design is a private, independent, nonprofit, four-year college.

Adopted by the Board of Trustees, April 11, 1991
Revision adopted by the Board of Trustees, October 24, 2002
Revision adopted by the Board of Trustees, April 12, 2007
Reaffirmed by the Board of Trustees, February 12, 2015
Revision adopted by Board of Trustees, April 15, 2021

Core Values

In Support of the Institutional Mission We Value:

  • The arts as essential in the cultural and intellectual life of a society.
  • Rich and varied arts education that engages innovation and tradition.
  • Educational experiences in and out of the classroom that nurture lives of learning and creativity.
  • Development and support of the whole student.
  • Academic freedom, inquiry and freedom of expression.
  • Integrity and social responsibility in an interdependent world.
  • Diverse community that serves as a source of empowerment.

Indicators of the Mission and Values in Action

  • Preparing students as future artists and designers by providing a curriculum that explores ideas, technical and conceptual skills, and aesthetic choices. In addition to appropriate support for the major disciplines, this includes support for the liberal arts as an essential component, an adequate number of qualified faculty, high standards in teaching with attention to appropriate class size and provision of adequate academic support through facilities and services.
  • Attending to the whole student by providing qualified staff and appropriate services, adequate and safe facilities for on campus life. This strengthens the classroom and educational experiences and helps to lay the foundation for a life of continued growth.
  • Recognizing the importance of an engaged faculty of working artists, designers, writers and researchers as absolutely essential to the educational process. This takes place through an environment that nurtures creativity, provides ongoing professional and artistic development opportunities and supports interdisciplinary collaboration.
  • Upholding academic freedom and a safe environment for members of the campus community to responsibly question, examine and explore all intellectual ground. This creates an environment of intellectual enrichment open to all and one that supports creative risk-taking and experimentation as well as the ongoing exploration of the history and traditions of the visual arts.
  • Exploring ways to play a greater leadership role in the advocacy, understanding and protection of the visual arts at the community, state, national and international level. This includes recognizing and providing opportunities that assist the entire campus in the understanding of the social role, value and ethical implications of the artist/designer in society.
  • Engaging actively in the exploration of historical, multicultural, global and future oriented perspectives, and striving for a diverse educational environment of inclusiveness, acceptance and equal opportunity.
  • Promoting greater awareness and a more active commitment to environmental issues in a future oriented perspective that acknowledges our individual and institutional relationship with the earth and our obligations to conserve natural resources.
  • Building a community of mutual respect for differences, that values relationship and works to break down barriers that divide. On campus, this means continuing to provide opportunities for personal connection and building bridges across departments and disciplines. It is a campus community of shared responsibility working together toward common values and goals that will enable each person to continue a life of learning and growth.

Adopted by the Board of Trustees, February 13, 2003