Rice Business Facilities McNair Hall

Message from Dean Peter Rodriguez:

Dear colleagues, students and friends,

This week holds the crowning moment of our academic year: graduation. It’s our favorite time of year and our proudest. And yet, this year, everything is different.

We are celebrating countless “firsts” this spring, at Rice, at home, at work. Our first ever Virtual Graduation Celebration scheduled for Friday at 1:00 PM may possibly rank as the biggest first of all. To those of you graduating, I extend heartfelt congratulations from the entire Rice Business community. We will never forget the past few months. After Friday, we will never forget the Class of 2020, who accepted their unusual position, rose to the occasion and graduated from home. We hope you enjoy this experience with its extra special touches unique to this unique year. We look forward to celebrating an in-person Investiture in the fall, coinciding with the university's on-campus commencement.

Another first for the school, we held our first remote Council of Overseers meeting yesterday. Made up of 51 community and business leaders, the council comes together formally three times a year and helps advise the business school to be the best it can be. Yesterday, over Zoom, we discussed candid projections for the state of the economy and the school. It left me optimistic and appreciative of the expertise we have within our community to help us flourish during uncertain times.

Finally, I’m pleased to introduce a special online edition of the alumni magazine, a first that may have lasting repercussions. What started out as an experimental format to stay connected during a time when perhaps a printed magazine delivered through the mail may not have been read has turned into a clean, modern and possibly more reader-friendly option. You’ll have to let us know what you think.

As I pause on the threshold of graduation, I send you all best wishes for the future and for continued health and happiness. Together we’ve made this work, and together we’ll see it through. 

Best,
Peter

Learn More About Crisis Management

After Harvey, some companies gouged prices and others volunteered their space. How companies react during disasters stems from the moral views of firm decision-makers.
During a crisis, outsiders view leaders who only show no sadness, only anger as less effective as research by Rice Business professor D. Brent Smith shows.
Chronic loneliness could lead people to self-sabotage when reaching out to others, making loneliness a self-perpetuating—and painful—cycle.
Rice Business Professor Anastasiya Zavyalova explains why pre-existing moral codes are essential for companies in crisis.
Delivery-based grocery shopping is growing, but the online future of grocery shopping might be overhyped, as Rice Business professor Scott Sonenshein explains.