Rice supports the work of its faculty in a variety of ways. In addition to the space, funds, equipment, and clerical assistance that it provides through its departments and schools, Rice maintains libraries, computing and networking facilities, and other university-wide programs to assist and protect the faculty. Rice also regulates many aspects of a faculty member's work -- not just to sustain the interests of the university but also to conform to federal, state, and local laws and regulations.
Fondren Library is a modern research library that supports the university's teaching and research efforts with a broad range of collections: 3 million volumes, including more than 136,000 electronic books; more than 172,000 current journal subscriptions; more than 3.5 million microforms; and 750 indexes and databases providing targeted access to the journal literature. It is a selective depository for United States and Texas government publications and for United States patents and trademarks. Special collections include: The Woodson Research Center, home to more than 40,000 rare books and more than 800 manuscript collections, as well as more than 400 university archive collections; robust support for Rice's pre-eminent programs in art and architecture and music; and the Rice Digital Scholarship Archive, an open source D-Space repository for faculty members' research, electronic theses and dissertations, and digitized collections. The Digital Media Center (DMC) provides equipment, software, and support for using and creating media, including equipment checkout. The GIS/Data Center provides support for analyzing geographic information in a broad range of academic disciplines. Fondren collaborates with the Jones Graduate School of Business in providing library services to the Business Information Center, located in Janice and Rober McNair Hall.
Faculty services offered by Fondren include active support for collections, research, and teaching; physical and electronic class reserves; inter-library borrowing and document delivery; study rooms and technology-equipped classrooms by reservation; and a limited number of carrels (available through deans to scholars with special needs). General and specialized tours are available for students, as well as classes on topics such as specific social media and technology tools, specific electronic resources, and research methodology. Additionally, there are online research guides on specific subjects. The library sponsors, through its Friends group, an annual research competition for undergraduates and graduate students; through the DMC co-sponsors an annual student video contest; and with the School of Engineering co-sponsors the faculty Virginia and Griff Lawhorn Digital Education Award.
The Fondren Fellows program funds Rice undergraduate or graduate students to conduct research projects sponsored by Fondren Library that will benefit the library and the scholarly community. For example, projects may involve working with archival collections, developing digital projects, or making recommendations for library spaces or services based on analyzing data.
The Faculty of Rice University is committed to disseminating the fruits of its research and scholarship as widely as possible. In keeping with that commitment, and recognizing the importance of allowing faculty members to choose appropriate venues for publishing their scholarly work, the Faculty adopted the following policy in 2012:
The current Rice copyright policy governing faculty publications will be followed, with the additional provision that Rice University will make published articles written by faculty members available for open dissemination. The policy will apply to all scholarly articles written while the person is a faculty member, except for publications completed before the adoption of this policy. The Provost or Provost's designate will waive application of the policy for a particular scholarly publication upon written notification by the author, who informs Rice of the reason. Faculty members are further encouraged to make all of their publications, not just articles, available for open dissemination. Please see the full policy here.
Authors should submit electronic copies of the author's accepted manuscripts to the Rice Digital Scholarship Archive (RDSA), the University's institutional repository. Fondren Library manages RDSA and has developed resources to assist authors: http://openaccess.rice.edu/rice-open-access-policy/. Upon request, an article will not be made available to the public for an agreed-upon embargo period. In addition, faculty may publish their research datasets (up to 10GB) on RDSA. Fondren will preserve datasets and can offer DOIs to facilitate citation. Please see https://library.rice.edu/research-data-services.
Rice University maintains a rich amalgam of information technology services and support. General information most useful to faculty can be found on the OIT web page, "Getting Started: Faculty and Staff."
The Information Security Office (ISO) manages the information security program at Rice, and can advise faculty on the appropriate protection of their data and other assets.
Several Rice policies impact the information-technology landscape. Policy 832: Appropriate Use of Information Technology prohibits violations of copyright, trademark, and other laws, including unauthorized copies of licensed software. Policy 808: Protection of University Data and Information and Policy 841: Identity Theft Prevention Program establish Rice's security posture for the protection of confidential and sensitive information.
Each division within the university has a team of professional computing support staff to help with technology questions and problems. A central Help Desk (x4357 or email@example.com) dispatches these to the appropriate divisional representative. For general questions, faculty can access the Help Desk or use the self-service Knowledge Base. For immediate technological classroom support, faculty also have access to a dedicated help line. More information can be found at https://oit.rice.edu/get-help.
The Office of Information Technology's Learning Environments team focuses on faculty teaching and classroom-specific support needs. Experienced professionals support teaching and learning, both in the classroom and online, as well as the student record systems at Rice. In addition to immediate and ongoing classroom technological assistance, this team also supports Canvas, Rice's course-management system, and places a priority on accessibility for campus resources.
The Center for Research Computing (CRC) partners with the Ken Kennedy Institute for Information Technology to provide access to research computing resources, including high performance computing (HPC), storage, virtual machines, and other computational resources, both on campus and beyond. The CRC manages shared research computing cyberinfrastructure as a service center, which is available for any research project at Rice. CRC manages NOTS, a large-scale high-performance computer cluster, the research VM infrastructure (ORION; Open Research Infrasturcture Open Nebula), the Research Data Facility (RDF, a scalable storage infrastructure), and assists with managing the Chevron Visualization laboratory. The CRC maintains dedicated staff for facilitating all Rice researchers' access to these on-campus resources, as well as off-campus commercial and non-profit resources such as XSEDE, Jetstream, Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud Platform, and Microsoft Azure. Addtionally, in partnership with the Ken Kennedy Instituture, the CRC works with faculty on needs assessment, funding development, and infrastructure expansion. Faculty members who would like to access this service are encouraged to contact the Center for Research Computing to explore how to best leverage Rice's research infrastructure, including how to invest in the operating condominium computing business model.
The Operations and Infrastucture team provides both wired and wireless access connections to regional and national high-speed networks. Additionally, this team maintains a comprehensive set of basic services such as e-mail, telecommunications, the OIT Help Desk, and the data center. More details for all services can be found on OIT's website.
More about the Office of Information Technology:
Research and scholarship on the part of the faculty are essential elements of university work. Accordingly, members of the faculty are encouraged to seek external financial support for their research projects. When such research is carried out by faculty members under the financial sponsorship of an outside organization, such as the federal government, the state government, foundations, or corporations, it is called sponsored research.
A sponsored research agreement, which may be either a grant, contract, or cooperative agreement, is an agreement between a sponsor and the university to engage in a project of mutual interest, meeting the mission of the university and the goals of the sponsor. The principal investigator is the resident expert who has the responsibility to carry out the proposed project. By submitting a research proposal, a researcher agrees to abide by the policies and the procedures of the university and the sponsor. Because trust in the integrity of Rice's research enterprise has accumulated over many decades and is one of the university's most valuable assets, all faculty have scholarly obligations to their colleagues and coworkers to ensure that their research is conducted honestly and that the results are reported truthfully. All principal investigators with external funding also have legal and ethical obligations to the sponsors of their research, as well as to the university in its administrative role.
The funds from the sponsor will be categorized as either a gift or a grant depending upon a number of factors. Those factors include, but are not limited to, whether or not unexpended funds need to be returned to the sponsor, the level of reporting required, and whether a budget has been provided. Generally, that research should be related to the academic programs of the departments involved and provide opportunities for graduate and/or undergraduate research training; however, individual researchers are free to pursue interesting and important leads that may arise during the conduct of research, subject only to the terms of the research agreement and other restrictions of the sponsor. Depending on the terms of an award, sponsored projects may also include work that is focused on education and training.
Faculty members engaged in sponsored projects may receive compensation for work on a supported research project consistent with federal and state regulations and laws, as well as the terms and conditions of the funding source and university policies. This includes charging a portion of their academic time to the grant: Policy 311: Salary Support Through Sponsored Projects. These faculty members may wish to continue their research during the summer months, and to the extent that funds of sponsored projects are available, may be compensated at their academic year base salary rate for up to three months a year consistent with the effort spent on the grant. The total compensation received by a faculty member in any pay period from the university and from sponsored project funds may not, however, exceed the university-approved rate of pay for that faculty member. Faculty members on full-time academic year appointments have an approved monthly rate of one-ninth of their nine-month academic year salary.
3. Administration of Research at Rice
The vice provost for research has oversight of all the university's sponsored research activities and policies, and has established the following offices to help guide and expedite research:
The Office of Sponsored Projects and Research Compliance (SPARC), under the vice provost, assists faculty in identifying potential sources of funding, provides the institutional approval and signature for all proposals submitted, negotiates and administers sub-contracts and non-industry sponsored agreements in collaboration with the Office of General Counsel, accepts federal awards on behalf of the university, accepts foundation and not-for-profit awards in collaboration with the Office of Corporate and Foundations Relations (OCFR), ensures awards meet federal and university compliance requirements, is the liaison for faculty and federal agencies for requests for information, records, awards and proposals in the university database, and is the official reporting unit of nonfinancial information for grants and contract proposals and awards. Additionally, SPARC manages the Conflict of Interest program, advises on questions related to export controls, and facilitates human subject or animal research in conjunction with the appropriate oversight committees.
The Office of Technology Transfer is responsible for negotiating contracts for sponsored projects with industry, assisting faculty with commercializing technology created and developed at Rice and negotiating material-transfer agreements, confidentiality disclosure agreements, data use agreements, and industry sponsored research agreements.
The Office of Research provides support to faculty for grant writing and securing funding through the Office of Research Development and Infrastructure (ORDI), supports building partnerships with industry in partnership with Corporate Relations, and provides concierge services that assist with the preparation of grant applications through SPARC. The Office of Research is also responsible for the investigation and reporting of potential research misconduct.
Additionally, Research and Cost Accounting (RCA), under the vice president for finance, assists faculty with the financial management of all sponsored project awards ensuring compliance with sponsor and university requirements. Research and Cost Accounting sets up fund accounts for the expenditure of sponsored awards, prepares invoices for the sub-contracts, prepares financial reports as required by the sponsor, oversees the university's official unit for effort reporting, serves as the official contact and coordinator for external auditing groups, reviews expenditures and monitors compliance, and closes out awards and funds. Further, the Office of Information Security is available to assist faculty with information security and other data protection requirements.
4. Effort Reporting and Budgeting
Rice University is required to comply with federal regulations regarding effort certification of individuals paid from, or contributing to, sponsored programs. Effort reporting is required of all individuals who are either paid from any sponsored projects (whether or not sponsored with federal funds) or who commit time as cost sharing to such sponsored projects. The university has implemented a policy regarding who is subject to effort certification, the process, and training required: Policy 304 Effort Reporting. Because of the importance of this process, effort reporting training is required for first time PI's; additionally, Rice will hold proposals if the effort certifications are not submitted by the deadline.
All proposals for research should include a line in the budget for facilities and administrative (F&A) expenses. This is the rate used on sponsored projects, covering the facilities and administrative costs associated with supporting the research enterprise. It includes, but is not limited to, such items as building, equipment, sponsored projects administration, the library, and department administration. The determination for this rate is closely regulated by the federal government as it requires universities to submit a cost proposal and negotiate this rate periodically.
Any grant proposals or acceptances of grant awards for research that contains F&A at a rate that is less than the currently approved federal rate requires the approval of the Vice Provost for Research. Rice has implemented an F&A Return Program where each year through the budget process, a portion of the collected F&A is returned to the schools. The portion returned is based on the last completed fiscal year prior to the budget year. The goals of Rice's F&A return program are to: (1) further decentralize the allocation of unrestricted funds, (2) provide discretionary resources to the deans and departments to help advance priorities and (3) encourage an increase in Rice's effective F&A recovery rate by encouraging grants that generate F&A recovery. This is intended to help address the highest priority programmatic needs of schools and departments and provide funding to cover costs not allowable on grants.
Rice University has organizational units that provide goods and/or services in support of the University's mission and charge for those goods and services. It is the policy of the University that such charges must be consistent with sound business practices, Federal regulations and cost accounting and financial reporting principles: Policy 836 Service Center Policy. The University establishes such units as Service Centers to ensure compliance. This policy applies to all Rice units that charge for goods and services and users of such goods and services.
5. Other Responsibilities
Rice University expects all its members to maintain the highest standards of conduct in pursuing research and scholarly activities. This includes making sure that all faculty members are appropriately trained on our policies and procedures, and any regulatory requirements that might apply to the particular research area (e.g. export control, animal, human subject, genetic materials, etc). Moreover, the university has regulatory responsibilities to inform those participating in sponsored research activities of the funding agencies' research misconduct policies. The university therefore has developed policy guidance and procedures governing research misconduct: Policy 324 Research Misconduct and Procedures for Conducting a Research Misconduct Investigation.
The university has also implemented policies defining where a potential "conflict of interest" might arise between a scholar's research and personal interests: Policy 216 Conflict of Interest and Commitment for Faculty (Including Faculty Fellows and Investigators). The provost makes an annual request for members of the university to identify potential conflicts of interest, but it is the responsibility of the individual researcher to report any conflict of interest that might arise throughout the year, which has not been previously reported. More details on the definition of conflict of interest and reporting duties are to be found in the section below on "Conflict of Interest" and in Policy 216.
If sponsored research will involve using personally identifiable information (as defined in Policy 808), then researchers must ensure that data is being appropriately collected and stored (in accordance with the grant terms and relevant law). Researchers should be aware of any regulatory requirements/restrictions related to their data (including those related to student information (FERPA), financial information (GLBA), health information (HIPAA), and data from the European Economic Area (GDPR). Additionally, if there is a data loss or breach which may involve the unauthorized access of personally identifiable information then the Office of Information Security must be notified immediately.
Finally, to ensure compliance with federal regulations, as well as protect faculty Intellectual Property, all faculty and staff who are involved in sponsored research must have on file an Intellectual Property Assignment Agreement before SPARC will accept an award.
6. University Policies Related to Research
Because of the variety of research being conducted and the mechanism sponsors use to fund such agreements, they are governed by several university policies. These policies are more specific than the general guidance provided here, and should be consulted directly. Please see the following:
The Susanne M. Glasscock School of Continuing Studies, with approximately 20,000 annual enrollments, provides educational opportunities in personal and professional development, online and hybrid courses, and certificate programs with offerings from the Center for College Readiness, the Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership, School Literacy and Culture, the Foreign Language program, and the English as a Second Language program. The school is also home to two master’s programs: the Master of Liberal Studies and the Master of Arts in Teaching. The Glasscock School is housed in the D. Kent and Linda C. Anderson and Robert L. and Jean T. Clarke Center, which opened in spring 2014, allowing the school to increase its scope and continue to expand its service to Houston and beyond.
Although no member of the Rice faculty is required to teach in any of these courses, many find it rewarding to do so -- to share their knowledge with educated members of the Houston community and beyond and to gain additional income. The honorarium varies from course to course, but it is always in addition to regular Rice compensation and always includes fringe benefits. Members of the faculty may enroll in selected continuing studies courses at reduced tuition (up to 50 percent off).
Consulting and other services to outside organizations, including industry and government, often constitute very desirable activities for the faculty. These services can provide a mechanism for enriching the professional experience of faculty members, thereby broadening their backgrounds for teaching and scholarly research. The university also has a responsibility to help in the transformation of results of research into products, services, and processes that will become available in the marketplace. In many instances, effecting such a transfer requires active participation of faculty members as advisors or consultants.
Such opportunities create the potential for a conflict of commitment between outside interests and responsibilities to the university. Even the appearance of a conflict can be harmful to both the faculty member and the university.
Conflicts of commitment may arise when there are competing demands upon the time and energy of a faculty member as a result of outside activities and interests that could interfere with the faculty member's ability to meet his/her responsibilities to the university. Rice expects that faculty members' outside activities and interests will not interfere with their ability to meet their primary obligations to the university. These responsibilities differ across schools and departments, but should be based on a general understanding between the school dean or department chair and the faculty member. Experience indicates that full-time faculty members have difficulty meeting their primary obligations if they spend more than the equivalent of one day a week on outside activities. See Policy 216 "Conflict of Interest and Commitment for Faculty (Including Faculty Fellows and Investigators)."
A "conflict of interest" may occur when scholars or their family members receive financial or personal benefit from outside activities and interests that are closely related to their research activities. Examples include participation in activities sponsored by for-profit entities; negotiation with companies; provision of litigation-support services; founding of start-up companies, or consulting with companies. Alternatively, even uncompensated activities, such as volunteering on the board of a non-profit organization, may result in a conflict of interest if the organization is affected by the outcomes of a scholar's work. These situations may compromise, or may have the appearance of compromising, a scholar's judgment while conducting research. No area of scholarship is exempt from real or potential conflicts of interest.
The principal means for managing potential conflicts of interest involves prior disclosure and a dialogue between a faculty member and her/his dean. The provost will make an annual request for such disclosures to all scholars. But at the same time, individual faculty members have the responsibility of informing their dean within 30 days if circumstances change, new research proposals are submitted, or income or interests that could constitute a conflict of interest are discovered. More information on defining and reporting potential conflicts of commitment may be found in Policy 216 and its related procedures document: Policy 216 "Conflict of Interest and Commitment for Faculty (Including Faculty Fellows and Investigator)" and Procedures for Policy 216.
Specific requirements exist concerning potential or real conflicts of interest for faculty members submitting proposals to certain federal agencies. These faculty members must file a disclosure statement with their dean.
Special guidelines apply to faculty members who are involved in purchasing supplies, services, and equipment for the university. Faculty members with the authority to commit university funds must disclose whether any potential conflict of interest exists when they request signature authority for the commitment of funds. This category of conflicts of interest is covered by Policy 838 "Conflict of Interest."
Only in special cases may university equipment or facilities be used for services to an outside organization, including those controlled by faculty members, and then only with the explicit written approval of the department chair and dean or applicable vice president.
Rice University encourages the publication and display of original works and the uninhibited dissemination of new knowledge. Both academic freedom and quality education are served by these activities. As an institution where the faculty is expanding the frontiers of knowledge, Rice accepts its obligation to serve the public interest by ensuring that the best and most promising of the new discoveries, ideas, art, papers, books, computer software, and other works are made available for public use. Rice also recognizes that it must assist its faculty in properly disclosing their scholarly work, in complying with applicable laws and formal agreements, and in gaining the protection available under United States laws governing patents, copyrights, and trademarks.
It is important to understand that applying for patents, copyrights, and trademarks, which are classes of intellectual property, is a critically important step in achieving the university's objective of making research discoveries available for public use. Intellectual properties convey certain rights to their owners which can provide significant competitive advantage; this important aspect helps to motivate investment in the risky process of transforming a university developed research discovery into a bona fide product. Companies and Rice enter into contractual agreements, called licenses, whereby Rice conveys the right to use an invention in exchange for the company's development of the technology into a product(s), and (usually) fees and/or royalties.
Rice policy requires that all discoveries or creations (including software) made during the conduct of university research be disclosed to the university. If, upon evaluation, the university decides to seek intellectual property protection, the policy requires the inventor(s) or developer(s) to sign a legal document assigning ownership rights to Rice. Rice will then pursue, at its expense, any opportunities that may flow from the disclosed technology and will share any earnings with the inventor(s) or developer(s).
Patent laws protect useful, new, and non-obvious inventions (rather than the underlying ideas or concepts) in specified categories, including machines, devices, processes, methods, techniques, software, materials, compositions, substances, mixtures, and chemical compounds. A patent owner has the right to exclude others from making, using, offering for sale, or selling the invention for a period of twenty years after the filing date of the patent.
When a potentially patentable invention is discovered or developed at the university, a confidential invention disclosure report should be submitted to the Office of Technology Transfer. Prompt reporting can be critical to obtaining patent protection for the invention in the U.S. and foreign countries. U.S. patent rights will be lost if the patent application is not filed within one year of a "trigger event," which includes public disclosure (including regular or web based publication, oral presentation, and proposals to government agencies), public use, commercial use, offer for sale, or sale of the invention. Most industrialized foreign countries do not have this one year grace period. In addition, if the invention was made with federal funding, it must be reported to the government by the Office of Technology Transfer accurately and on a timely basis. Therefore, it is important to identify the sources of any grant funding that supported the research or any research personnel (including students) when preparing the invention disclosure. It is also important to update that information when formally filing each patent for the invention disclosure.
Rice may elect to pursue patent protection and licensing of a disclosed invention, in which case any royalty income will be shared among the inventor, the inventor's department, and the university in percentages detailed in the policy. If the university declines to pursue patent protection for an invention, it will offer to return the intellectual property rights to the inventor(s), subject to the rights of any third party sponsor of the research which led to the invention. Generally when patentable inventions are discovered or developed in the course of research supported in whole or in part by federal funds, the government shall have a non-exclusive, worldwide, royalty-free license to practice the subject invention. If rights are returned to the inventors and they elect to develop the technology for their own purposes, the university's name and trademarks may not be used for any promotional or commercial purposes without the prior written consent of the president.
Copyright laws protect forms of expression (rather than the underlying ideas, concepts, facts or information) for originally authored works in certain specified categories, including literary works (includes certain software); musical works (includes accompanying words); dramatic works (includes accompanying music); pantomimes and choreographic works; pictorial, graphic and sculptural works; motion pictures and other audiovisual works; sound recordings; and architectural works. A copyright owner has the exclusive right to reproduce the work, prepare derivative works, distribute copies of the work, publicly display the work, and publicly perform the work.
From time to time, faculty members may want to use the copyrighted works of others to supplement their research and teaching and to otherwise facilitate the university's mission of developing and transmitting knowledge. Under copyright law, the doctrine of "fair use" may allow such use (including making and distributing copies) without obtaining the permission of the copyright owner. "Fair use" is an equitable doctrine which limits a copyright owner's exclusive rights and requires a case-by-case analysis of the following four factors:
A copyright is created automatically when the work is first "fixed in a tangible medium of expression." Although neither a federal registration nor a copyright notice is required, a registration is necessary to file a suit for infringement in federal court, and a notice helps to prove both the owner's and the infringer's intent.
At the university, the author of a copyrightable work retains ownership of the copyright, subject to the rights of any third-party sponsor except for software works (see Policy 333 "Patent and Software Policies") and for specific works that a faculty member has agreed to produce for the university (see Policy 334 "Copyright Policy"). Joint authors are persons who contribute to the work with the intention that their contributions be merged into an interdependent whole. Independent contractors retain copyright ownership for their works absent a proper written "work for hire" agreement and/or copyright assignment. Generally, when copyrightable works are developed in the course of research supported in whole or in part by federal funds, the government (including others acting for or on its behalf) shall have nonexclusive, worldwide, royalty-free license to use, reproduce, prepare derivative works of, distribute copies of, publicly display, and publicly perform, the work. Where appropriate, the university should be identified to reflect the institutional affiliation or support of the work; however, the university's name and trademarks may not be used for any promotional or commercial purposes without the prior written approval of the president.
In the process of their research, Rice University faculty, research staff, postdoctoral fellows, graduate students, and undergraduate students, inevitably make a record of their methods, approaches and findings, known broadly as research data. The university and the researchers have certain rights and responsibilities pertaining to the management of that data.
The research investigators have the right to use data for future research and to disseminate data to the broader community. This is subject to compliance with laws and regulations, as well as any contractual obligations, regarding the conduct of research. In addition, the research investigators must assist the university in fulfilling obligations related to the appropriate use of human and animal subjects, the safe use of hazardous materials, the protection of the university’s intellectual property rights, and compliance with the requirements of research sponsors and governmental agencies. Research data must also be protected to ensure that the university can effectively oversee and investigate any conflict of interest and research misconduct issues.
The details of this policy and an outline of procedures that a principal investigator must follow are found in Policy 308, Research Data Management.
The name of the university should be used in a faculty member's title to show institutional affiliation in connection with university-related work made public. The name of the university may not, however, be used for promotional purposes of a commercial nature without the written approval of the president.
Rice University seeks to foster an environment where people are treated with respect and trust. Employment of family members may be problematic because such situations can create a conflict of interest, an appearance of favoritism, and an increased potential for a hostile work environment. Because of these concerns, the university is sensitive to circumstances in which relatives of employees might be hired, transferred, or promoted to positions where one relative might have influence over any of the following: a relative's employment, performance review, salary administration, promotion, or other employment-related decisions.
If a relationship develops during the course of employment that would violate this policy, the university will work with the individuals involved to resolve the situation. In all cases, the needs of the university determine the resolution. For more details, see Policy 419-96 "Nepotism."
The Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988 requires that employers take appropriate measures to combat illegal drugs in the workplace as a condition for receiving federal funds. To comply with the act, the university has in place and administers in good faith a policy prohibiting the unlawful manufacture, possession, use, or distribution of illegal drugs and alcohol on the property of the university, or as part of any university activities, except in the course of authorized teaching and research. Confidential counseling, treatment, and rehabilitation programs are available to faculty members, who may contact the Rice University Employee Assistance Program LifeWorks) or the Rice University Health Education Office. For more details, see Policy 323-96 "Drug-Free University."
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 require that Rice provide accommodations for individuals whose disabilities impact them in their pursuits at the university. Rice, accordingly, provides reasonable accommodations such as adaptive technology and equipment, including assistive listening units and Braille embossers, audio texts for the blind, and other accommodations and assistance based on documented needs. Access to buildings at Rice University is, in general, excellent; specialized modifications are made in offices and classrooms as needed. Faculty members who have disabilities or who have students in their classes with disabilities should work with the chairs of their departments, the provost, and the director of the Disability Resource Center to take full advantage of the facilities and services that are available for people with disabilities. Faculty are advised to include ADA statements on their syllabi and to direct students with disabilities to the Disability Resource Center (https://drc.rice.edu); that office provides examples of ADA statements on their "Faculty and Staff" link, under the heading "Instructors" (https://drc.rice.edu/staff-faculty). Faculty should expect to receive an Accommodation Letter from the Disability Resource Center indicating the accommodations that a student with a disability will need.
Rice attempts to do all that is reasonable to provide a safe and healthful environment for work and study. To protect individuals and property and to regulate parking and the flow of traffic through the campus, Rice currently maintains a police department of 26 licensed officers supported by 15 guards, attendants, dispatchers, and clerks. The uniformed officers, who have been specially screened for service at Rice by committees that include faculty and students, enforce all applicable federal, state, and local laws, as well as university regulations. Members of the faculty should cooperate fully with the Rice police and report crimes, suspicions of crimes, and other incidents which could constitute an emergency by using the blue-light emergency telephones or by dialing 713-348-6000 (6000 from any campus phone).
Rice's Environmental Health and Safety Department provides support to the Rice community in the areas of chemical, biological, and radiation safety, fire safety, office and general safety. The department also works with local, state and federal agencies to ensure compliance with government codes and policies. Rice University's general safety policy is explained in Policy 805 "Environmental Health and Occupational Safety Program."
All faculty members have a role to play in ensuring safety at the workplace. Those responsible for laboratories have additional responsibilities, as outlined in Policy 313 "Laboratory Safety Policy", but also by government laws and regulations. "Laboratory" in this sense is a well-defined space where research or scholarly activities take place using materials or equipment that can pose a safety hazard (e.g. hazardous chemicals; lasers; compressed gases; liquid cryogens; high powered electronic or mechanical tools). In other words, laboratories might well be found in spaces across the disciplines. The principal investigator (PI) plays the primary role in ensuring that proper training and supervision takes place in the laboratory; department chairs, deans, and other faculty members also have important roles to play in this process. Failure to maintain a safe working environment can result in sanctions against the PI, and more importantly, it can result in severe endangerment to members of the campus community.
More information may be found at these links:
Policy 301 "Policy for the Submission and Administration of Sponsored Projects"
Policy 314 "Care and Humane Treatment of Animals Used in Research, Testing, and Education"
Policy 326 "Human Research Protection Policy"
Policy 811 "University Programs or Activities Including Minors"