Rice Business Facilities McNair Hall

Message from Dean Peter Rodriguez:

Dear colleagues, students, friends and new alumni,

Congratulations to those of you who graduated this past weekend. You are now our newest alumni. Welcome! You made it, and we’re proud of you.

We produced, as did Rice University and other schools all over the world, our first ever online graduation celebration. While we will celebrate again in person in the fall, this virtual ceremony still delivered a feeling of intimacy as we watched from home and reminisced about the journey these past few years and recent months. We’ve all come together to weather the storm and find solutions to any roadblocks. We’ve reached out and held each other up. I feel grateful for this community and the solidarity you’ve shown. 

Also, in keeping with the week of graduation, we held our spring slate of meetings with our faculty, the Council of Overseers and Rice Board of Trustees. I finished the week satisfied that we have and will continue to make progress towards our strategic goals. 

Governor Abbott spoke Monday to confirm the state is moving into Phase 2 of the safe and strategic reopening of businesses. While COVID-19 hospitalizations remain steady, testing across Texas has increased in recent weeks and the percentage of tests coming back positive has continued to drop. 

Still, most of us will continue to work from home, perhaps for some time. We’ve entered week 10 of this period of working apart/working from home and it feels a bit like Groundhog Day. In the coming weeks we will announce further details about our plans for the new academic year, including how we will return to teaching and working safely on campus. We will prioritize safety for everyone in our community and will need your support and cooperation to help us make wise decisions and deliver on our mission for our students and the broader academic community.

While you continue to adjust to a different way of working and living, I hope you will find calm and comfort wherever you are and that you will continue to work well and support each other. Remember that we’re in this together. The resilience and commitments I have seen from our community over the last few months makes me confident that together we will see it through and advance our school to new heights.


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