University Resources for Faculty Development

This handbook has been written by members of the Rice faculty to provide their colleagues with useful information about the policies, procedures, and services of the university. It does not create a contract or establish a policy; rather it guides members of the faculty to existing policies, which always supersede anything that is said in this handbook and which are readily available on the university's web site ( and in the president's office.

The president of Rice University, pursuant to the university bylaws, has general control and supervision over all matters pertaining to the university and its activities, subject to the advice and approval of the board of trustees. Pursuant to that authority, the president approves all university policies as well as delegates to university leadership (including the provost, vice presidents, vice provosts and deans) the ability to develop policies and procedures for their areas of responsibility consistent with university policies.

The Faculty Senate is a representative body of the university faculty formed to investigate, discuss, and decide on matters concerning the academic affairs of the university.

The Provost is the chief academic officer of the University. The mission of the Provost’s Office is to promote and support excellence in all dimensions of the University's academic, research, scholarly and creative programs and activities. The Provost works with the University’s deans, as well as a team of Vice and Associate Provosts in fulfilling the academic leadership and administrative roles of the University and Provost’s Office. The Provost is a member of the University’s major planning and academic committees, including the Strategic Planning and Budget Priorities Committee, and serves ex officio as a member of the Faculty Senate.

Part of the Provost’s central academic operations team, the Vice Provost for Academic Affairs' (VPAA)  most important role is to serve the faculty of Rice in all dimensions of their work. The VPAA's responsibilities include working with departments and deans to foster an inclusive culture that sustains a productive and diverse faculty and that exemplifies the principles of shared governance; collaborating with the Faculty Senate in the development of faculty policies and academic programs; overseeing faculty career development programs; working with department chairs; and developing and overseeing processes for academic program review.

The Office of Research seeks to sensibly improve Rice’s research productivity and expand the impact of its discoveries on both scholars and communities alike. 

The Office of Proposal Development's (OPD) mission is to serve faculty researchers as they conceptualize, develop, and write their proposals to federal agencies and other entities to seek funding for their research projects.  The OPD works across all disciplines, departments, and divisions, with the overarching goal of making the proposal development process as straightforward and streamlined as possible.

The Center for Teaching Excellence (CTE) at Rice University seeks to transform teaching through mentoring, innovative practices, collaboration, scholarship, and advocacy. The CTE actively engages faculty, staff, students, and community partners, and brings them into conversation to achieve excellence in teaching and learning. The CTE seeks to enhance and promote the strong teaching culture at Rice, which is a core value of our institution.

The mission of the Program in Writing and Communication (PWC) is to integrate the practice of analytical writing, oral, and visual communication into the Rice curriculum, with two goals in mind: to enable Rice students to articulate their ideas as the PWC prepares them for academic and professional life; and to affirm the necessity of this ability and its fundamental value to every aspect of their education and across every university department and discipline.

The Office of Sponsored Projects and Research Compliance helps its users understand their obligations under applicable governmental regulations and university policies.

Rice University’s The Safe Office: Interpersonal Misconduct Prevention and Support offers care management and navigation to students who are reporting an incident of interpersonal violence perpetrated against them and to students who have been accused of perpetrating interpersonal violence. The Office also provides prevention education to the Rice community on sexual and domestic violence, sexual harassment, stalking and Title IX and Clery Act requirements.