Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 70.76
Liaison Richard Johnson
Submission Date Oct. 13, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Rice University
PA-4: Diversity and Equity Coordination

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Amy Griffiths
Sustainability Intern
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have a diversity and equity committee, office, and/or officer tasked to advise on and implement policies, programs, and trainings related to diversity, equity, inclusion and human rights on campus?:

Does the committee, office and/or officer focus on students, employees, or both?:
Both students and employees

A brief description of the diversity and equity committee, office and/or officer, including purview and activities:

The Office of Diversity and Inclusion serves in a coordinating role for a core team of offices from across the campus with diversity-related functions. Together, this core team comprises the Council on Diversity and Inclusion. The Diversity and Inclusion Core Team Members provide leadership and resources for the Council on Diversity and Inclusion and maintain their current reporting lines within their divisions. Rice University’s Mission Statement, which establishes the basic framework for diversity and inclusion in all of Rice’s endeavors states, “As a leading research university with distinctive commitment to undergraduate education, Rice University aspires to path breaking research, unsurpassed teaching, and contributions to the betterment of our world. It seeks to fulfill this mission by cultivating a diverse community of learning and discovery that produces leaders across the spectrum of human endeavor.” Thus, in order to be successful in fulfilling its mission of inclusive excellence, the Office of Diversity and Inclusion commits itself to acknowledging differences within Rice’s campus, seeking critical mass for underrepresented populations, and enriching Rice’s learning environment.

Within the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, Dr. Roland Smith is designated as the diversity and equity coordinator. He manages the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, facilitates communication between different groups focused on diversity, and handles the Mellon Mays Scholarship Program, among other responsibilities.

Overall, Rice’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion is dedicated to preparing the next generation of leaders for increasingly complex societal and professional environments. It is responsible for the coordination of the Council on Diversity & Inclusion, facilitating connections between similar groups on campus working toward achieving greater understanding and inclusiveness. Its primary focus is on students, but it encompasses faculty and staff as well.

Additionally, the Jones Graduate School of Business has it's own Diversity Officer which aims to create a rich learning environment that allows our students to consider and appreciate a multitude of perspectives that lead to enhanced decision making.

Estimated proportion of students that has participated in cultural competence trainings and activities (All, Most, Some, or None):

Estimated proportion of staff (including administrators) that has participated in cultural competence trainings and activities (All, Most, Some, or None):

Estimated proportion of faculty that has participated in cultural competence trainings and activities (All, Most, Some, or None):

A brief description of the institution’s cultural competence trainings and activities for each of the groups identified above:

(1) All students participate in a diversity-training program as freshmen during orientation. The training is split into two segments. First, students attend a lecture about diversity on Rice’s campus. Students are then broken into smaller groups with diversity facilitators to participate in more in-depth discussions and role-plays regarding diversity. The program focuses on encouraging students to speak up against prejudice and some of the thoughtless things people tend to say, with an eye towards maintaining relationships and Rice’s much-valued sense of community.

(2) Sexual Harassment Training and other Discrimination:
Rice's Office of Diversity and Inclusion has an Equal Employment Opportunity and Affirmative Action/Human Resources working group that has offered a number of cultural competence training events for students:
-They administered online sexual harassment training to an increasing number of the Rice community. Last summer they were able to send invitations to the entire freshman class resulting in a 100% participation rate.
-They trained 100% of all graduate students regarding sexual harassment. Graduate students were required to pass the training in order to register for classes and receive a stipend for the semester.
-In addition to the required Title IX training that all faculty and staff completed, the Campus SAVE act required that all faculty and staff complete an additional training administered by the Equal Employment Opportunity Program/Affirmative Action office to create a campus environment free of violent sexual behavior.

(3) ADVANCE (Advocating Diversity and the Need for Cultural Exchange) hosts weekly Friday discussion meetings. The topics cover a wide range of social issues from sexism to homophobia to international concerns and politics, to name a few. ADVANCE seeks to create an environment at Rice that emphasizes unity by embracing individual differences and is committed to providing a safe space to students interested in dialoguing on the often divisive issues of the day.

(4) Culture Fair: The OMA and ADVANCE sponsor Culture Fair each spring. The fair enjoys huge support each year and averages about 300 attendees each year. The theme for the fair changes annually, but the primary participants continue to be both undergraduate and graduate cultural clubs and representatives for the office of international students and scholars (OISS).

(5) The Rice Ally Program is a student, faculty, and staff educational program. The Ally Program goals are to raise awareness about the ways homophobia and heterosexism impact everyone, and to teach skills in being an Ally to the LGBTQA+ community. To become a Rice Ally, you must first attend one of the Ally training sessions, which are held each semester and are roughly 3 hours long.

(6) The University is beta-testing an online diversity training module that will be mandatory for all students, staff, faculty, and administrators once deployed. This online training program includes scenarios that allow the user to respond to certain situations and test their awareness. The training discusses topics such as race, gender, disabilities, and religion to name a few.

(7) The Office of Affirmative Action and Equal Employment Opportunity works closely with faculty, administrators and staff to increase tolerance, opportunity and diversity within the Rice Community. Rice requires diversity training for all faculty search committee chairs and department chairs.

(8) Project SAFE provides programming throughout the year to help students learn about sexual and relationship violence and how to prevent it. Extensive programming takes place during O-Week for all undergraduate incoming students and all upperclassmen advisors; throughout the year programs are offered for the community at large, as well as personalized workshops for student organizations or retreats when requested by students or departments. The topics range from "Assertiveness" to "Project Safe: Bystander Intervention" and all conversations are LGBT+ inclusive.

(9) The new hire orientation for employees covers our affirmative action/EEO office, Title IX/Clery Act, and sexual harassment.

The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.