Rice Business Facilities McNair Hall

Message from Dean Peter Rodriguez on July 24, 2020

Dear Rice Business staff,

I’m writing to update you on changes to our plans for a safe return to campus in light of the surging coronavirus cases in the Houston area. Given the current Harris County guidance to “Stay Home, Work Safe,” Rice University is now planning on an August 23 full reopening of campus. To align more closely with the university’s plan and ensure the safety of all in our community, we have moved all Launch events from July 27- August 16 and all other courses through August 22 to remote only. We are continuing to assess and determine how we will deliver the second week of the Full-Time MBA Launch, which begins August 17; the first week will be delivered remotely from August 10-16.

Our Reopening Committee is ready to execute their thorough plan, which includes protocols and processes to meet new physical distancing and safety guidelines. Supplies and furniture have been ordered, signage has been designed and produced, and the building is being conditioned by Facilities Engineering and Planning (FE&P). The school will be ready for us when it is safe to resume our phased return to campus.

This week and next, we are holding town halls with students to address their concerns, and we plan to use their questions as a guide to inform our answers going forward. We are also recording all the questions and answers in a set of FAQs on our website.

Every day, we are taking care of what needs to get done to lay the groundwork for the year ahead, despite not knowing exactly what that will look like. Thank you for your hard work and determination over the past few months. Because of you, we have made it this far and kept our wits about us while balancing safety for the whole community, curriculum changes, personal needs and working from home. I am grateful. And I know that we will emerge stronger for this test of our compassion and courage.  

Best,
Peter

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