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School Updates

Hurricane Harvey Updates

UPDATE: Wednesday, Sept. 15, 3:09 pm CDT:

Message from Dean Peter Rodriguez:

I hope you’ve made it safely through the worst of the storm and its aftermath and have begun to feel the return towards normalcy. Over the last few weeks we have seen the best of our students, faculty, staff and alumni. I feel a swell of gratitude and comfort knowing that we were able to help each other during those first days by removing drywall, flooring, carpets and belongings that were damaged. Know just how much a difference you made for others simply by bringing them a meal, doing laundry and sharing a dry place to stay. Your compassion is boundless. Thank you!

Now the hard work begins. The next phase of recovery is assessing the long term. We need to listen and engage to learn what we still can and should do for our community. What do you need next to recover? How do we help?

I want to reassure you that we’re addressing continuing needs, finding solutions and, as we do this, the Dean's ARK Fund grows. Your generosity towards the Rice Business family impresses and humbles me. In the coming months, as we begin to understand the acute needs, especially of those who have been displaced, we will let you know how you can help.

Until then, we need to keep each other informed. Please continue to connect with us. Together we’ll get through this and look ahead to better, brighter days for all.

Dean Peter Rodriguez


Monday, Sept. 4, 12:01 pm CDT:

Message from Dean Peter Rodriguez:

Today is Labor Day, in case you have lost track of the days during this crisis. I hope you are in good spirits and spending the day with family and friends. We look forward to beginning the return to normalcy.
We still have a great deal of recovering to do, but our community has shown remarkable resilience and support for those most affected. We will communicate our plan to make up missed classes soon, along with arrangements to accommodate those who may not be able to attend all of the rescheduled classes.
You have heard me talk many times about the three core principles by which I lead our school: being attentive, responsive and kind in all we do.

Appropriately enough, the first letters of these three words form the word "ARK." So when we established a fund to help the Rice Business community, it seemed fitting to call it the Dean's ARK Fund.
One-hundred percent of the fund proceeds will be used to support Rice Business employees, faculty, students and alumni who have been negatively impacted by Hurricane Harvey. If you are moved to do so, please donate online to this fund.
Thank you again for showing the strength and compassion emblematic of the Rice Business family during this challenging time.
See you all tomorrow,
Dean Peter Rodriguez

Friday, Sept. 1, 6:32 pm CDT: 

Message from Dean Peter Rodriguez:

It’s been a privilege to hear from so many of you over the last few days. Your stories are uplifting, your efforts noble. As Labor Day approaches, the hard work continues and the recovery is ongoing.

When I arrived here at Rice Business just over a year ago, I outlined three basic principles: being attentive, responsive and kind in all we do, because with those goals in mind, good things always follow. See our video (below) about the core principles of Rice Business, filmed last fall.

Those tenets, and the acronym they form (appropriately enough for a flood: ARK), have inspired us to create the Dean's ARK Fund to help our community deal with the enormity of the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.

One-hundred percent of the fund proceeds will be used to support Rice Business employees, faculty, students and alumni who have been negatively impacted by Hurricane Harvey.

Your donation can make a difference. Thank you.

Thursday, Aug. 31, 4:12 pm CDT: 

Message from Dean Peter Rodriguez:

The clearer skies over Houston bring a welcome shift toward recovery and the Rice Business family is out in full force. We know that recovery takes hard work and that a return to normalcy is a slow process, especially for those hardest hit.

Know, too, that we are here to help — and will be for as long as it takes. I cannot fully express how inspired I am to see so many engage in selfless acts of support for strangers, neighbors and everyone in the Rice Business community. You are making all the difference for those in need and everyone in Houston.

Please email the Rice Business team at with anything you need or can offer. Also, if you haven’t reported your status, please fill out the brief survey from Rice University at

Stay strong and stay connected,

Dean Peter Rodriguez

Wednesday, Aug. 30, 4:25 pm CDT:

Message from Dean Peter Rodriguez for Students, Staff and Faculty:

With the weather clearing today, recovery begins. We are grateful to those who are staying in touch, volunteering to help others and keeping us informed about the needs of classmates and colleagues.

We are working with those affected and stand ready for offers of assistance. Please email with anything you need or can offer. Also, if you haven’t reported your status, please fill out the brief survey from Rice University at

Our community is rising to the challenge of helping in this difficult time. Thank you for making a difference.  
Stay strong and stay connected,
Dean Peter Rodriguez

Tuesday, Aug. 29, 4:28 pm CDT:

Message from Dean Peter Rodriguez for Students, Staff and Faculty:

Rice University and Rice Business will remain closed through Monday, Sept. 4. All classes are cancelled, all assignments are postponed.
Your safety remains our primary concern. We want to know about everyone's status – even if your property was not impacted by the storm. If you haven't filled out the brief survey from Rice University, please go to
If you have flooding or are in need of assistance, please email We are developing a plan to match those in need with those who can help. As of right now, all students are accounted for. You will be hearing from the student leads who have been designated for each program and are assessing and coordinating needs. We are assembling a faculty/staff/student recovery team that will work together to plan our response to longer-term issues.

We’re also developing a plan for rescheduling missed classes. The schedule should be able to accommodate most students and will take care of those who cannot attend make-up classes. We will have the schedule ready by Sept. 6. Students, please also check Canvas to hear from your professor about what to prepare for next week’s classes.

Faculty, please also post in Canvas to let your students know what to prepare for next week’s classes.

As we gather more data, we are determining how our community can come together to help each other. We will recover together over the coming days, weeks and months and will have more updates about volunteer efforts soon. Thanks to so many of you for organizing outreach efforts and for offering comfort and assistance to our colleagues, classmates and others. These actions have been very helpful and can make all the difference in times of need.  
Best wishes to you all and please, stay connected,  
Dean Peter Rodriguez

Monday, Aug. 28, 4:59 pm CDT:

Message from Dean Peter Rodriguez:

Rice University and Rice Business will remain closed on Wednesday. All Wednesday classes are canceled and assignments are postponed. Know that as we plan to eventually resume normal operations, we will prioritize your safety, support your recovery and accommodate your situations resulting from the storms and flooding.

As the storms continue, I ask you to continue reaching out through email or text to me, George Andrews, Brooke Sabo and your peers to offer aid. Assistance in these situations is inherently local as most cannot safely go far from home. Knowing where you are and who is near you can make all the difference in helping someone in need.

If you need help, resources or a place to stay, please email so that we can connect you with another community member. Thank you to all who have reached out to offer assistance, a bed or room in your home, meals and transportation by car, truck and canoe. We are seeing the best of our community as we endure the harshness of this event.

Recovery will take time, but Rice Business, your colleagues and classmates will be here to support you in any way we can. Be safe, reach out and stay connected.


Dean Peter Rodriguez

Sunday, Aug. 27, 6:53 am CDT:

Message from Dean Peter Rodriguez:

I am writing to let you know that classes and assignments for Tuesday are also cancelled. We will share an update on classes and assignments as soon as we are able to do so. More importantly, I am writing to let you know that our Rice family cares for each of you and stand ready to assist you. Please, respond to the email sent to you from George Andrews or Brooke Sabo to let us know your status and how we can help. Whether by email, phone, text or other means, reach out to us and to those who may be in need.
Stay safe, stay connected and let us know how to help.

— Peter

Sunday, Aug. 27, 1:55 am CDT:

Message from Dean Peter Rodriguez:

In addition to the cancellation of classes, all assignments due on Monday are postponed. We will have more information on assignment deadlines tomorrow. For now, please make your safety and your family, friends and neighbors your top priority.

UPDATE: Sunday, Aug. 27, 9:30 am CDT:

Rice University and Rice Business will remain closed on Monday. All Monday classes are cancelled.
I know that last night's torrential rains have likely affected members of our community, both here on campus and across the Houston area. Our thoughts are with everyone who has been affected by this storm. Please reach out to your neighbors and help those around you.
Stay safe.

Saturday, Aug. 26, 11:44 am CDT:

Message from Dean Peter Rodriguez:

We continue to monitor Hurricane Harvey as it moves across Texas. The potential to cause damage remains high, so we urge you to stay safe and off the roads this weekend. We will notify you tomorrow afternoon about our plans for classes on Monday.
Please also watch for updates from Rice University.
Thank you.

Friday, Aug. 25, 12:13 pm CDT:

Message from Dean Peter Rodriguez:

We are continuing to monitor conditions in the face of severe weather this weekend and next week. Here is the latest update:

McNair Hall will be locked today (Friday) at 3 pm and will stay locked through Monday. If the outcome of Hurricane Harvey is better than expected and we are able to open the school on Monday, the building will be unlocked that morning. Please note that no one is allowed to stay in the building during this time.

In addition, Rice Univesity police will be patrolling the campus to maintain safety.

We will provide additional updates during the weekend. Please stay safe.

Friday, Aug. 25, 2017, 10:00 am CDT:

Message from Rice University:

Hurricane Harvey has reached Category 2 status and continues to strengthen. The storm has slowed and is now expected to make landfall early Saturday morning. Heavy rain and wind are expected in the Houston area this weekend. Although the city of Houston is not currently recommending evacuations, there are mandatory and voluntary evacuations happening in coastal counties, which could affect traffic in Houston.

Classes at 3 p.m. or later today are canceled. The campus will close at 3 p.m. and will remain closed through 11:59 p.m. Saturday. Nonessential staff may leave at 1 p.m. today. Employees who did not to come to work today will need to use benefit time. Essential staff and ride-out teams may be asked to remain on campus to provide services to students.

Guidance for students:
Off-campus undergraduate students are welcome to move onto campus today and stay with a friend if they want to. You can eat in the serveries for free.

For graduate students, at this point we encourage you to remain in your off-campus residences. We will be monitoring weather and road conditions throughout the Houston area and will reassess this guidance as conditions change.

Guidance for faculty and staff:
If you work on the first floor or in the basement, do not leave laptops and other valuable equipment on the floor in case there is flooding in your building.

We are checking on parking options for students and employees on campus over the weekend and will report more on this later.

The Crisis Management Team is meeting regularly to monitor weather updates and make decisions about the university's operating status for the remainder of the weekend and early next week. Updates will be communicated by email and posted on If an urgent communication is warranted, we will text it via Rice's emergency notification system, so please be sure your cellphone is listed correctly in your esther account.

If you have comments or questions, send an email to

UPDATE: Thursday, Aug. 24, 2017, 6:44 pm CDT: 

Message from Dean Peter Rodriguez:

Hurricane Harvey continues to intensify. We are following Rice University direction and will be closing the business school tomorrow afternoon at 1PM.

  • All Friday morning classes and events will proceed as scheduled unless otherwise notified.
  • All Friday afternoon and evening classes and all Saturday events and classes are cancelled.
  • All Rice Business staff and faculty should plan to leave the campus at 1PM. See university message for full Human Resources detail.
  • We will provide an update about Monday classes and events over the weekend.
  • We are evaluating options for making up classes missed. We may make up cancelled classes next weekend. We will provide accommodations for those who cannot attend make-up classes.
  • We will offer further updates on make-up classes as soon as we are able.
  • Be safe.

Thursday, Aug. 24, 2017, 5:11 pm CDT:

Message from Dean Peter Rodriguez:

We have just been informed that the university will be sending out a message at 6pm tonight, and we will update you at that time.

Thursday, Aug. 24, 2017, 2:06 pm CDT:

Message from Dean Peter Rodriguez:

I’m sure you are watching the weather reports on Hurricane Harvey and wondering what the next few days have in store for Houston and the Rice campus.

We are committed to keeping you informed about decisions made by the university and the business school.

By 5:00 p.m. today, we will make the decision about Friday classes and will send an email to let you know.

We will also post notices on this page, CampusGroups, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Decisions about Saturday classes will be made by noon Friday.

Be safe and stay tuned.