This handbook has been written to help members of the Rice faculty understand their collective and individual roles within the university. Although the handbook is not a statement of policy, it has been designed to direct members of the faculty to those university policies that shape their professional lives. Members of the faculty should, therefore, go beyond the handbook to read, understand, and apply the policies that most directly affect them -- policies that define their rights and responsibilities, the terms of their appointments, the procedures by which they are evaluated and promoted, the conditions under which they work, and the benefits and services that they enjoy. Members of the faculty who have administrative duties or supervisory responsibilities over students and staff have a particular obligation to know and adhere to university policies, all of which are available both in department offices and on the Rice website.

Members of the faculty should also feel an obligation to think about and suggest additions, corrections, and changes to Rice policies. They should make such suggestions to the speaker of the Faculty Senate and to the provost, who regularly deal with policies and procedures affecting the faculty and who will see that changes in policies are reflected in this handbook. Indeed, the members of the faculty who drafted this handbook assumed that their work would be constantly under revision and that the revision process would be shared by their colleagues throughout the university. Suggestions or changes to this handbook that do not affect existing policy may be made by sending e-mail to This has been from the beginning a cooperative work in progress, a work by and for the faculty of Rice University.