Vassar named director of professional development programs at Glasscock School

David Vassar has been named director of professional development programs at Rice University’s Glasscock School for Continuing Studies. An experienced leader in higher education who began his career as a business consultant working in change management and corporate training, Vassar will join the school March 19.


The Glasscock School’s professional development programs are geared toward helping professionals obtain new competencies, prepare for a certification exam, improve business and communication skills or earn professional recertification credits as they pursue career advancement opportunities. Subjects range from creativity and innovation and leadership to human resources and paralegal studies.

“David’s experience is ideal for leading innovative and industry-centric professional development programs,” said Robert Bruce, dean of the Glasscock School. “With a significant consulting background and a focus on serving diverse audiences, he will bring great insight to Rice as we seek to expand programs in the Greater Houston area and Latin America.”

The school’s planned outreach to Latin America will include online and on-site courses and partnerships with institutions there.

Most recently, Vassar served as the director of programs for ConTex, a joint initiative between the University of Texas System and Mexico’s National Council of Science and Technology. Under his leadership, ConTex expanded access to UT System Institutions for highly qualified Mexican students and researchers and promoted high-impact, binational research in targeted fields.

Vassar’s experience in higher education began at Rice in 2007. He served as assistant to the president for international collaborations, a position created by President David Leebron to help Rice become a more international university with increased orientation to Asia and Latin America — a priority for Rice’s Vision for the Second Century. Vassar later served as senior assistant to the president and associate vice president for global affairs.

Vassar earned his master’s and doctoral degrees in Latin American literature from the University of Virginia. He also earned an MBA from Texas A&M University and completed his undergraduate studies at Texas Christian University.

“We are excited to have Dr. Vassar join the Glasscock School team, and look forward to the strategic domestic and international growth of our professional development programs,” Bruce said.

“I am really thrilled to be joining Rice’s Glasscock School to be a part of the university’s commitment to Houston’s growth and success,” Vassar said. “I especially look forward to reconnecting with and growing my networks in the community and in industry to support our efforts to provide relevant and transformative professional development opportunities for Houstonians working to better themselves and their careers.”

The Glasscock School offers personal and professional development classes, online and hybrid courses and certificate programs, with additional offerings from the Center for College Readiness, the Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership, the Foreign Language program, the English as a Second Language program, the Master of Liberal Studies, the Diploma in Liberal Studies, the Master of Arts in Teaching and School Literacy and Culture. For more information, go to

About Jeff Falk

Jeff Falk is associate director of national media relations in Rice University's Office of Public Affairs.