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Separating from RISD

For various reasons, RISD or an employee may choose to end the employment relationship. The information below provides a general overview of the types of separation and the guidelines for each.

Voluntary Separation


A non-exempt employee who voluntarily resigns their position should provide RISD two weeks notice. For exempt employees, we request four weeks notice. If, for business reasons, the employee’s supervisor wishes for the employee to leave before the end of the employee’s notice period, the employee may receive pay for the remainder of that period, after consultation with Human Resources.

We ask that separating employees submit a formal resignation via Workday after informally notifying their supervisor. The employee may optionally submit a letter of resignation as part of the Workday resignation process. In the event that the separating employee does not submit a formal resignation, supervisors must initiate the termination via Workday.

We encourage staff members who resign from RISD to participate in the exit interview process prior to their last day of work to provide insight about their experience working at RISD. As part of the separation process, RISD will provide information about benefits and a link to the exit survey via Workday. For staff who wish to participate in a live discussion about their experience, we invite them to schedule an exit interview.

RISD will deem that an employee who is absent from work for three consecutive work days without notifying their immediate supervisor (barring any unusual circumstances that preclude timely notification) has resigned their position.


An employee who plans to retire should notify their supervisor as far in advance as possible prior to the planned retirement date. The employee should also schedule an appointment with Human Resources to review details regarding retirement from employment at RISD.

Involuntary Separation

Involuntary Discharge

RISD may involuntarily discharge an employee for a number of reasons, including but not limited to unsatisfactory performance, serious misconduct or other policy violations. See the Corrective Action Process Policy for additional details.


On occasion, RISD may eliminate a position because of changed operational needs. When a reduction-in-force is necessary, RISD strives to minimize its impact on the employee by:

  • giving as much advance notice as possible.
  • considering the employee for other open positions, if qualified.
  • and/or providing appropriate severance payments.

RISD does not provide severance pay to employees terminated for performance reasons, who cannot perform their job responsibilities, or are on limited term appointments.


On occasion, a layoff may be necessary because of a temporary lack of work. RISD strives to minimize the impact of a temporary layoff by giving as much advance notice as possible.

Post-Resignation/Termination Procedures

RISD expects managers to process a separation of employment in a timely manner via Workday. Doing so ensures that the employee’s campus and system access ends at the time of separation. As part of the Workday termination process, separating employees receive all relevant information via their RISD email; therefore it is important for managers to initiate the process as soon as possible before the employee’s last day of work. Managers can use the termination checklist to help navigate the separation process.

Exit Process

Return of RISD Property

Employees must return to RISD all documents, files, books, records, computers and electronic records, software materials, discs, keys, equipment, passes, identification materials and all other RISD property no later than by their separation date. Additionally, employees may not delete any data, records, files or information related to or digitally stored on RISD property/equipment prior to date of separation.

The employee’s supervisor is responsible for arranging the return of RISD property, including:

  • identification card
  • parking hang tag
  • office and desk keys
  • RISD-issued credit cards
  • RISD manuals/handbooks
  • uniforms
  • computers and laptops
  • cell phones and PDAs
  • RISD-provided, job-related equipment
  • work output and documents
  • borrowed library materials (when not returned directly to the library)
  • any additional RISD-owned or issued property


Benefits (Medical, Dental, and Vision (if applicable)) cease on the last day of the month during which an employee’s RISD employment ends. Employees can choose to convert, at their own expense, to individual life insurance directly with the carrier and/or continue medical/dental benefits in accordance with COBRA regulations.

Funds accumulated in a terminating employee’s retirement plan may be left in the plan and invested at the employee’s continued direction, rolled over into another qualified retirement plan or distributed to the employee. Please be advised that what you decide might have tax implications. Further information and forms for distribution/rollover may be obtained directly from the retirement carrier.

Exit Survey and Interview

On initiation of the Workday termination process, an employee who resigns from RISD will receive an invitation to respond to an electronic exit survey so we can gain insight about their employee experience. Additionally, we also invite exiting employees to schedule an exit interview about their experience and/or to better understand the transition of benefits. Interested employees can schedule an appointment by contacting Human Resources at 401 454-6606 or humres@risd.edu.

Exit interview letters

Final Paycheck

RISD will issue a terminating employee’s final pay during the next normal pay period and according to the established mode of payment (e.g., direct deposit).