June Strategic Planning Update

Dear Colleagues,

We are writing today to thank you for participating in Rice’s strategic planning process and to provide you with an update on where we are in the process and what’s next.

We embarked on the strategic planning process in January and, thanks to your help, have accomplished a lot. With support from our partners at Sterling and the strategic planning committee, we have completed 32 focus groups with alumni, the Board of Trustees, faculty, staff and students; four vision groups focused on specific topics; 12 individual interviews with Houston leaders in the arts, energy and medical sectors; seven individual interviews with presidents and provosts from peer institutions; and surveys with alumni, faculty, staff and students.

Everyone has been extraordinarily candid and constructive in their feedback, allowing us to gather a great deal of information and insights on the unique opportunities for Rice and possibilities for Rice’s future direction and focus. Over the summer, this information is being synthesized and analyzed. Then, a draft plan structure will be created, primary metrics will be formed and a contextual narrative will be put together. Lastly, a final strategic plan will be completed and presented to the Board of Trustees by the end of the calendar year. Once approved, the plan will be broadly shared and implemented.

In the meantime, we want to provide you with some initial findings based on the focus groups, interviews and surveys. Keep in mind that these are preliminary. However, they are representative of what Rice stakeholders and others are thinking when it comes to opportunities for Rice in the future.

We also want you to have access to some peer assessment data we have gathered to help us shape our goals, understand our strengths, challenges, and opportunities and align our mission imperatives with our expertise. This information is gathered from various sources including the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System.

With this wealth of information, we will pave a new path for Rice that will elevate our university and enhance our impact on our students, our city and our world. Strategically focusing on our strengths allows Rice to forge stronger partnerships, serve a larger and more diverse group of students and apply our efforts to solving some of the world’s most pressing problems.

Again, thank you for your time. We know it’s valuable. We look forward to continuing to work with you to make Rice the best place it can be for our students, faculty and staff as well as the broader community.

Please let us know if you have any questions or concerns. For more information on the strategic planning process, please visit: https://buildingricesfuture.rice.edu/.

Warm Regards,

President Reginald DesRoches

Provost and Strategic Planning Committee Chair Amy Dittmar