Matt Taylor, associate dean of undergraduates and associate vice provost, was honored by the Rice Board of Trustees at the March 20 meeting for his extraordinary contributions to the university.
Dean of Undergraduates John Hutchinson noted that it’s not just the breadth of Taylor’s contributions that stands out, but also the high quality.
“Matt has a well-deserved reputation for delivering complicated projects with multiple stakeholders (students, faculty, staff and administration on all levels) and tight deadlines on time and on — or under — budget,” Hutchinson wrote.
Hutchinson outlined several projects which Taylor was instrumental in making successful:
- Expansion and enhancement of undergraduate housing. Taylor served as the dean’s point person in the planning and design of McMurty and Duncan colleges, the new wings of Baker and Will Rice colleges and the two new serveries. This included Taylor’s lead in establishing two new college governments, populating the new colleges with upperclassmen and planning and implementation of budgets and programs for student life.
- Implementation of the new Program in Writing and Communication (PWC). After the Faculty Senate voted to create the PWC, Taylor led the effort to staff and develop curriculum, helping Rice develop a robust program in less than a year that serves the needs of every Rice undergraduate. He also helped deploy the Center for Written, Oral and Visual Communication that serves undergraduates, graduate students, postdocs and faculty.
- Retention of students from their first year at Rice through graduation. Taylor helped create the Rice Emerging Scholars Program to acquaint first-year students with the challenging pace, depth and rigor of math, science and engineering courses at Rice.
Vice Provost for Academic Affairs Paula Sanders explained that Taylor took on all of these projects in addition to his regular administrative duties. Taylor also oversees the Center for Civic Leadership and Student Health Services and has taken a substantial role in the development of Rice’s online resources.
“Any one of these accomplished projects would merit recognition of Matt as an invaluable member of Rice University,” Sanders wrote. “Taken in aggregate, these accomplishments point to an individual of the highest merit, whose dedication is matched by his talent.”