Tide of great ideas LIFTs all at Rice

Rice LIFT symposium will let faculty present thoughts on university’s future to leaders, community

Rice faculty will present their grandest ideas to the campus community at the Rice LIFT symposium May 2 at Duncan Hall’s McMurtry Auditorium.

Faculty members will present their most creative ideas about the university’s direction regarding research, teaching, outreach or any combination thereof. LIFT – which stands for Leading Innovation through Faculty Thought – gives faculty a direct line to the ongoing strategic planning process and a platform for collaboration.

Marie Lynn Miranda

Marie Lynn Miranda

“It hasn’t been that long since I was a regular member of a faculty,” said Marie Lynn Miranda, who joined Rice as provost in 2015, “and some of the best conversations I had, the best ideas that got floated, happened when I was having lunch or tea or going for a walk with colleagues.

“I want to make sure there is a way for these kinds of ideas to be heard.”

The event is intended to inform Rice’s developing Vision for the Second Century II (V2C2), she said.

“Rice LIFT is the great democratizing aspect of the strategic planning process,” Miranda said. “We have different ways to get input from the community: We’ve just finished the V2C2 survey, we have lunches and dinners and meetings with different components of the campus, and schools have their own strategic planning processes and committees.

“But here, faculty can develop their best ideas and present them to the community without a filter from a department chair or a dean or a provost or even the president. This university rises on the quality of its faculty. Their ability to generate exquisite ideas should be highlighted in this strategic planning process, and Rice LIFT gives them an opportunity to talk directly to the leaders of the university, including the board of trustees.”

Dozens of faculty teams have submitted proposals, and Miranda expects more before the upcoming deadline. “We’ve made it very simple: Three is the magic number! Each three-page proposal has to have a minimum of three faculty members. And then faculty teams give a three-minute talk at the symposium.”

Faculty may submit their proposals and share their thoughts on others’ proposals at https://ricelift.rice.edu through April 10.



About Mike Williams

Mike Williams is a senior media relations specialist in Rice University's Office of Public Affairs.