Message from the President

Rice University is an outstanding research university and a special community. We take pride in our contributions to the betterment of our world and the commitment of our faculty to excellence in teaching, creativity works, scholarship and research. And we work to foster our distinctive and supportive culture with commitment to the values of diversity, equity and inclusion. Since 59 students and 12 faculty members participated in the first matriculation in 1912, Rice has changed in many important aspects and has built upon the best of our founding ideals and ambitions. The result of more than a century of thoughtful progress has been the creation of one of the great universities of America. Rice’s mission and aspirations today are captured in our mission statement:

As a leading research university with a distinctive commitment to undergraduate education, Rice aspires to pathbreaking research and unsurpassed teaching by cultivating a diverse community of learning and discovery that produces leaders across the spectrum of human endeavor.

With more than 8,200 students and over 900 faculty, we aim for the highest levels of achievement. We are committed to excellence across our eight schools, many interdisciplinary institutes and centers, and our athletics program. Our success is built on the contributions of every part of our community: graduate and undergraduate students, faculty and staff, alumni, and other supporters across our city and around the world. 

We strive to be bold in our aspirations and entrepreneurial in our approach. We seek to make a distinctive and positive mark on our home city of Houston while achieving a global impact through education, research and service. We are committed to enriching understanding, creating opportunity, discovering knowledge and improving our world.

The General Announcements of the university set forth the immense array of opportunities for our students, as well as the rules and policies which govern their participation in the university. But we demand more of each other than just adherence to rules and policies. We expect that all members of our community will be guided in all their endeavors by the core Rice values: Responsibility, Integrity, Community and Excellence, as well as our guiding principles: courage, curiosity, culture of care, and diversity, equity and inclusion. These values and guiding principles are just as important as the academic offerings and rules included in these announcements. 

We take great pride and joy in the diversity of our community in every aspect, even while recognizing we must continue the work of building a more diverse and inclusive community across the entire university. Our success requires thoughtfulness and respect in every interaction on our campus, whether with members of the Rice community or the visitors we welcome. Each of us has a role to play in helping to assure access and inclusion for all members of our community. Our “culture of care” demands not only that we not cause harm to others, but also that we look out for each other, listen to each other and provide or seek help when needed. It falls on each of us to do our part to welcome, help and listen to those who may not always feel supported and included, recognizing that some come from backgrounds of great privilege, while others have overcome enormous obstacles to be part of our community.

We are pleased that you have chosen to become a part of this dynamic university. On behalf of our faculty and staff, I wish you every success as you pursue your educational endeavors, and I look forward to working with you as you seize the opportunities Rice offers to achieve your aspirations and dreams.

Reginald DesRoches
Rice University