Rice Business Facilities McNair Hall

Message from Dean Peter Rodriguez:

Dear Colleagues, Students and Friends,

I hope this message finds you healthy, optimistic, and still connected to your friends, relatives and work. I was very proud to read President Leebron’s latest message over the weekend explaining that Rice has opened two residential colleges as temporary housing for medical personnel who work in Texas Medical Center hospitals. It’s one more way that Rice shows its gratitude for and commitment to Houston and our incredible healthcare community. 

I am also pleased to share that at Rice Business, it’s business as usual, except for meeting in-person that is. In other words, classes continue, research continues, admission information sessions continue, the new MBA Early Admit program has officially launched, and MBA applicants are temporarily allowed to provide ACT or SAT scores instead of GMAT or GREs due to closed standardized testing sites. Our team has proven to be resilient, creative and adaptive in this challenging time. We’ve made other temporary changes too:

  • The MBA@Rice Negotiation ILE taught by Professor Jing Zhou that was planned to be on campus this past weekend also shifted online. Jing said the course was brilliant. The students actively participated in all negotiation exercises and made high-quality, thoughtful and practical contributions to class discussions. At times of great uncertainty and challenge, true leaders emerge and step up, and she felt our Rice MBA students did just that. She felt the faculty and staff also worked well together as a team to make it happen, thanking in particular Michael Koenig, Barb Ostdiek, Megan Gossett, Derek Hill and Marci Carlson. Her only difficulty? “I am so used to walking around the classroom while teaching, that sitting for a full day and a half was a challenge. Right after the class ended, I went out to run for a long time, setting a personal record!”
  • We’ve made the decision to produce the spring issue of Rice Business magazine in online form. That will allow us to get you the latest information and to update it with new developments as they happen. We’ll share a link when the issue goes live on our website.
  • The first ever virtual admit day for full-time MBA students kicked off with a virtual partio last Thursday where admitted students were split into groups for virtual trivia and getting to know each other. On Friday they had the chance to connect via Zoom with the deans, Career Development and Student Program offices, current students, and the admissions team. 

Rice Business is a closely-knit community that knows how to respond to a crisis, but COVID-19 has challenged us in new ways. I know we’re all looking to support each other, our students and our neighbors. Please, reach out to colleagues and lead from where you are to preserve and leverage the ties that are our collective strength. Share the details of life that we may have taken for granted in a setting where closeness and togetherness were easier to achieve. Look for our faculty in the news. And, most of all, stay connected, stay positive and stay home.

Best,
Peter

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