Coronavirus and Rice, live update

live campus updates

This story will be updated as needed with details about Rice as the COVID-19 pandemic develops. Check back for the latest.

Messages from the administration will continue to be posted at and

The university’s COVID-19 Research and Academic Response website can be found here:

Sept. 11, 3:30 p.m.

Basgall to address national COVID-19 webinar

Lisa Basgall, the director of Rice’s Emergency Medical Services, will present at a national webinar on collegiate EMS and COVID-19 on Sept. 14. The webinar, “EMS: Patient Care and Operations,” is sponsored by the University of New Mexico School of Medicine’s Project ECHO. To register, visit

July 10, 9:20 a.m.

Rice sponsors second international COVID-19 symposium

The second COVID-19 International Research Symposium organized by Rice computer scientist Todd Treangen will be held July 17 from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. A dozen high-profile researchers will talk about progress in the fight against COVID-19.

For details, an agenda and to register, visit

July 8, 10:20 a.m.

SCI colloquium set for Aug. 7

The Smalley-Curl Institute’s Summer Colloquium will take place via Zoom on Aug. 7, with a keynote talk by computer scientist Scott Aaronson of the University of Texas at Austin, “Quantum computational Supremacy and Its Applications.”

The deadline for abstract submissions to be considered for oral presentations is July 15 at 5 p.m. The deadline for poster presentation submissions is July 24 at 5 p.m. Register at

July 6, 8:48 a.m.

Curbside at the Club changes

Rice Dining announced that beginning July 7, Curbside at the Club will operate Tuesday through Friday, with luncheon service beginning at 11 a.m. On Tuesday, July 14, breakfast options will be available from 7 to 9:30 a.m. A new menu for breakfast options will be available soon.

June 26, 1:10  p.m.

Drug development workshop set

The Gulf Coast Consortia, of which Rice is a member, will hold its next Drug Discovery and Development Round Table Workshop, focused on SARS-CoV-2, at 3:30 p.m. July 2. Featured are Alan Barrett, director of the Sealy Institute for Vaccine Sciences at the University of Texas Medical Branch, and Roger Nosal, vice president and head of global chemistry, manufacturing and controls at Pfizer.

Register for the free online event here:

June 18, 10:35 a.m.

COVID-19 and education webinar

Rice Alumni will host a webinar at 11 a.m. June 24, “COVID-19 and Education: How Today’s Crisis Could Transform K-12 and Higher Education.” David Mansouri ’07, president and CEO of the Tennessee State Collaborative on Reforming Education and a Rice Alumni board member, will share ways in which the crisis provides an impetus to tackle long-standing barriers to equitable and student-centered education, with a focus on historically underserved and first-generation students.

Register here to receive a Zoom link:!view/event/date/20200624/event_id/97093.

June 9, 10 a.m.

Delivery Services updates schedule

Starting June 15, Delivery Services will deliver mail and packages on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, and needs to know what offices are staffed to receive deliveries. Outgoing mail and packages can also be dropped off at Delivery Services for processing on Tuesdays and Fridays.

Contact manager Ute Franklin at

June 9, 10 a.m.

Leadership webinar on adapting to coronavirus

Tom Kolditz, director of the Doerr Institute for New Leaders, will host an hourlong live webinar June 10 at 11 a.m. to discuss foundational aspects of leader development and update attendees on the institute’s impact on developing leaders and adaptations in response to the coronavirus. The event is co-hosted by the Association of Rice Alumni.

To receive a Zoom link, register here:!view/event/event_id/94933.

June 2, 9:15 a.m.

Dining Services starts curbside at Cohen

Rice Dining Services has started curbside pickup of to-go meals at Cohen House on weekdays from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Orders placed online will be available within 25 minutes.

The link to order:

June 1, 7:55 a.m.

Blood drive on campus June 9

Rice Emergency Medical Services will host a drive for critically needed blood from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. June 9 at Duncan Hall. Donors must make an appointment ahead of time, here:

Masks are required, and no walk-in donors will be accepted in order to maintain appropriate social distancing.

May 28, 1:35 p.m.

Return of researchers prompts changes to Entrance 20 access

Entrance 20, at the intersection of Rice Boulevard and Kent Street/Alumni Drive, will be open extended hours — 6 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday through Friday — to accommodate the increased population on campus due to the restart of research, according to the Rice University Police Department.

Entrance 8, at the intersection of University Boulevard and Stockton Street, remains open 24/7. All other entrances remain open from 6 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

May 28, 12:25 p.m.

Baker Institute series on future of energy continues Friday

The third part of the Baker Institute for Public Policy Center for Energy Studies’ series of discussions on the uncertainties facing the energy sector is on tap Friday.

Featured participants in “Pandemic, Price War and Petroleum — Take 3” are Ken Medlock, senior director of the Center for Energy Studies; Jim Krane, the Wallace S. Wilson Fellow for Energy Studies; and Mark Finley, fellow in energy and global oil.

The Zoom event is free, but registration is required at

May 26, 11:21 a.m.

Hotez, Lakshmanan to talk vaccine during webinar

As experts warn that a COVID-19 vaccine is still likely at least a year away, two of the Baker Institute for Public Policy’s own will discuss the road ahead during a May 28 webinar.

Peter Hotez, a fellow in disease and poverty at the Baker Institute, and Rekha Lakshmanan, contributing expert for the institute’s Center for Health and Biosciences and director of public policy at The Immunization Partnership in Houston, will discuss the process of developing a safe and effective vaccine and the candidates currently in clinical trials. Kirstin Matthews, fellow in science and technology policy at the Baker Institute, will moderate.

The webinar is free, but registration is required at The event is co-sponsored by the Center for Health and Biosciences and The Immunization Partnership.

May 19, 4:33 p.m.

Lives vs. economy topic of Baker webinar

The Baker Institute for Public Policy’s Center for Health and Biosciences will host a free Zoom webinar titled “How Do We Balance Human Lives vs. Economic Revival in the Age of COVID-19?” at 1:30 p.m. May 21.

Dr. Hagop Kantarjian, a nonresident fellow in health policy at the institute and a professor and chair of the Department of Leukemia at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, is the featured speaker. Vivian Ho, director of the Center for Health and Biosciences, will moderate.

Registration is required:

May 18: 3:45 p.m.

Fondren Library begins slow return

Beginning May 20, Fondren Library will begin a slow reopening of services. The library will not be open to users, but walk-up delivery of on-shelf materials will be available to Rice faculty, staff and students via the library’s East entrance.

The library hopes to reopen its first floor to users beginning in early June with occupancy restrictions, social distancing and enhanced cleaning and disinfecting, pending direction from the Campus Review Committee.

May 18, 3:40 p.m.

Rec Center programs shut down during holiday week

The Rice Recreation Center will not offer virtual programs or classes during the Memorial Day week, but will resume its livestream schedule on June 1. For information, visit

May 18, 10:30 a.m.

Webinar on global aid during pandemic

The Baker Institute for Public Policy’s Center for the Middle East will host a free Zoom webinar on global humanitarian aid and the coronavirus pandemic May 19 at 12:30 p.m.

The event will feature PBS NewsHour correspondent Marcia Biggs; Devon Cone, a senior advocate for women and girls at Refugees International; and Chase Sova, senior director of Public Policy and Research at World Food Program USA. Kelsey Norman, director of the Women’s Rights, Human Rights and Refugees program at the Baker Institute, will moderate a Q&A session following their presentations.

Registration is required. Register through Zoom here:

May 13, 4:15 p.m. 

Library extends renew date for materials

According to Fondren Library, checked-out items due on or before Aug. 25 may be renewed online until May 5, 2021.

Log in to your account at Fondren and navigate to the “loans” section to renew. The online feature will not work for account fines of more than $5 or for items that have reached their renewal limit.

May 13, 11:12 a.m.

Town Hall postponed for one week

According to President David Leebron’s office, the town hall originally scheduled for May 15 has been rescheduled for May 22 at 10 a.m.

The office of the president concluded that because of the concurrent Board of Trustees meeting, more time was needed to answer the “tremendous number of thoughtful questions” submitted for the town hall.

Additional questions may be submitted until 9 a.m. May 15 at

May 5, 10:46 a.m.

Student Senate: ‘Our sincerest appreciation’ for COVID-19 response

Rice’s Student Association Senate passed a resolution offering “sincerest appreciation” to students, faculty and staff who’ve played roles in the university’s response to COVID-19.

“We have observed Rice take a more compassionate approach than many other universities,” the resolution stated. The senate lauded specific actions by many, including students, faculty, the faculty senate, college magisters and resident associates; and staff from housing and dining, the student center, multicultural affairs, academic advising, student health services, information technology and many other offices.

May 4, 2:40 p.m.

Rice community offered edX courses

The Rice Online Learning team has joined with edX to provide members of the Rice community free access to hundreds of online courses.

To take advantage, follow the instructions at Enroll in courses from any participating university or institution.

The deadline to enroll is June 30.

May 4, 2:30 p.m.

Drugs and COVID-19 webinar Wednesday

The Baker Institute’s Drug Policy Program will host a free Zoom webinar, “Drugs and COVID-19: How the Pandemic is Impacting Substance Abuse and Treatment,” at 1 p.m. May 6. Featured speakers are Katharine Neill Harris, the Alfred C. Glassell, III, Fellow in Drug Policy, and William Martin, the Harry and Hazel Chavanne Senior Fellow in Religion and Public Policy and director of the Drug Policy Program.

Registration for the program is required. Register here:

May 1, 4:05 p.m.

Virtual Town Hall set for May 15

President David Leebron will host a virtual Town Hall at 10 a.m. May 15 to discuss what’s happening at Rice in the wake of COVID-19, among other issues, and to answer questions. The Zoom webinar will be available at 

The password appears in an email sent today to the Rice community.

Submit issues, questions, concerns and comments by the close of the business day May 8 here:

April 28, 2 p.m.

Webinar on crime and the coronavirus in Mexico

A free Zoom webinar at 11 a.m. April 29 will discuss organized crime and the coronavirus in Mexico. Register for the panel discussion sponsored by the Baker Institute’s Center for the United States and Mexico here:

April 28, 1:50 p.m.

Bioengineering webinar focuses on COVID-19

The Rice Department of Bioengineering will hold a series of Zoom webinars Thursdays from 3 to 4:30 p.m. to highlight bioengineering researchers and the tools they’re developing in the fight against COVID-19.

The topics are:

April 30: COVID-19 Diagnosis and Critical Care.

May 7: Antibody-Based COVID-19 Diagnostics and Disease Therapeutics.

May 14: In Vivo Delivery of COVID-19 Therapeutics and Cellular Engineering for Cancer Therapy.

Future topics will discuss genome editing and in vivo imaging. Learn all the details and join the webinars at

April 27, 12:32 p.m.

Conversation with Yousif Shamoo on Friday

Rice Vice Provost for Research Yousif Shamoo, a professor of biosciences who specializes in infectious diseases, will join Glasscock School of Continuing Studies Assistant Dean Cathy Maris at noon May 1 for a conversation with community members regarding the unfolding of the COVID-19 pandemic in Houston and what may lie ahead.

Register for the free event here:

April 27, 12:27 p.m.

Center for Civic Leadership lists service opportunities

Rice’s Center for Civic Leadership has gathered a list of resources, service opportunities and ways to stay creatively engaged through the COVID-19 crisis. See the webpage here:

April 27, 12:23 p.m.

Rice resets Zoom policy

The Rice Information Security Office and the Office of Information Technology (OIT) are putting new default settings into place for Zoom meetings to address security concerns, as of May 1. Going forward, meeting passwords will be required and will be embedded in meeting links. Private chats will be disabled and participants will not be able to annotate.

Learn more at Contact the OIT help desk for assistance at

April 20, 10:40 a.m.

Recreation Center temporarily suspends virtual classes

The Rice Recreation Center has temporarily suspended live virtual classes due to security issues with Zoom. The center intends to resume live programming on April 22. For updated information, visit

April 17, 9:45 a.m.

Civic engagement webinar Monday

Rice’s Center for Civic Leadership will hold a webinar, “Civic Engagement in the Time of COVID-19,” at 6 p.m. April 20. Learn to engage and support communities in the interactive session, no experience needed. Join the webinar at

April 17, 9:30 a.m.

Campus, off-campus events off through June

All on-campus events and off-campus Rice-sponsored activities are canceled through July 1, the Rice Crisis Management Team announced. Programs and activities that can be provided remotely are still permitted.

April 16, 10:15 a.m.

Fondren extends Creative Writing Awards deadline

The deadline to apply for the Fondren Library Undergraduate Creative Writing Awards has been extended to 11:59 p.m. April 19. The contest will give three $1,000 prizes: the Larry McMurtry Prize in Fiction, the Max Apple Prize in Nonfiction and the Susan Wood Prize in Poetry.

Details and the entry form are here:

April 15, 12:10 p.m.

Scientia on ‘Greening at Home’

The Scientia mini-lectures offered via Zoom at 4 p.m. April 21 will focus on lowering one’s personal carbon footprint while commuting and at home. Speakers will be Richard Johnson, Rice’s director of sustainability; Lisa Lin, the university’s transportation demand manager; and Rick Wilson, the Herbert S. Autrey Professor of Statistics and Psychology, who will discuss the design and construction of a “green” home.

Join the event at

April 15, noon

Bioengineering offers ‘Frontiers’ webinar

The Department of Bioengineering will offer a free webinar series, “Frontiers in Bioengineering Research,” to all members of the bioengineering and biomedical research community. Sessions will be held for the next four Thursdays from 3-4:30 p.m. No advance registration is required to join the Zoom events, here:

The webinars:

April 16 — Synthetic Biology Approaches for COVID-19 Diagnostics

April 23 — Immunoengineering and Immunotherapy

April 30 — COVID-19 Diagnosis and Critical Care

May 7 — Antibody-based Diagnostics and Therapeutics

April 13, 3:49 p.m.

DMC offers digital skills workshops

Rice’s Digital Media Commons is offering a set of digital skills workshops via Zoom through the end of April. The courses are free to Rice students, faculty and staff and the Friends of Fondren Library. Topics include Zoom itself, as well as Tableau, iMovie, Illustrator, GarageBand and more. Go here for course descriptions:

Go here to register online:

April 13, 1:15 p.m.

Zoom webinar on economy, stimulus package

A free Zoom webinar by economist John Diamond on the effects of the coronavirus on the economy and the government’s stimulus package will be held at 12:30 p.m. April 14, sponsored by the Baker Institute for Public Policy’s Center for Public Finance. Diamond is the Edward A. and Hermena Hancock Kelly Fellow in Public Finance and director of the center.

Registration is required to receive instructions about accessing the webinar. Register here:

April 9, 12:15 p.m.

OwlNest consultants ready to help

OwlNest, a centralized campus involvement platform for students to connect with clubs, departments and events, has student engagement consultants available to help create pages for departments. Email OwlNest for details at

April 9, 8:25 a.m.

RUPD adjusts campus entrance access

Beginning today, all campus entrances except for Entrance 8 (at the intersection of University Boulevard and Stockton Street) will be open from 6 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday and closed all day on weekends. Entrance 8 will remain open 24 hours every day.

The new schedule will remain in effect until further notice.

April 8, 4:14 p.m.

Spaceport Frontier Lecture about Mars now a webinar

In response to online security concerns, the April 9 Spaceport Frontier Lecture will be a Zoom webinar rather than a Zoom meeting. To join the webinar, use this link:

The 7 p.m. event with Martian geologist Kirsten Siebach, an assistant professor of Earth, environmental and planetary sciences, is titled “Reading the Martian Rock Record: Stories of a Previously Habitable World.”

April 7, 9:50 a.m.

Glasscock School offers two classes to staff

The Glasscock School of Continuing Studies, in partnership with Human Resources, is offering two online courses to Rice staff to develop skills while working remotely. Space in each course is limited.

The first, “Design and Deliver High-Impact Presentations,” will be held Mondays from 6-9 p.m. April 13 through June 15.

The second, “Foundations of Project Management,” will be held Mondays and Wednesdays from 6-9 p.m. April 13 through May 6.

The cost is $100 to cover the workbook licensing fee.

Download registration details for both courses here:

April 6, 1 p.m.

SAFE Office offers virtual workshops

The SAFE Office at the Rice Health and Wellness Center will offer a series of virtual hourlong workshops during Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month beginning April 9.

The full schedule with Zoom links:

Socially Distanced Mindfulness Practice (all at noon)
April 9
April 15
April 28

Resisting Rape Culture (all at noon)
April 14
April 22
May 1

Rape on the Night Shift: Film Screening and Discussion in partnership with the Houston Area Women’s Center
2 p.m. April 24 (Password: 008454)

How COVID-19 is Affecting Victim/Survivors of Interpersonal Violence (all at noon)
April 21
April 29

Sexual Violence in the LGBTQ+ Community
Noon April 16

Sexual Violence 101
2 p.m. April 10

Becoming an Active Bystander
10 a.m. April 10

Leaning in: Shame & Resilience
3 p.m. April 28

April 6, 12:30 p.m.

Rec Center offers personal training

The Barbara and David Gibbs Recreation and Wellness Center plans to offer personal training online via Zoom. To register for a session, fill out the form at

April 4, 5:21 p.m.

Data science competition to help Houston during pandemic

Rice’s Center for Transforming Data to Knowledge (D2K Lab) and the undergraduate Rice Data Science Club are hosting a competition to encourage students to use their computing and data science skills to help Houston during the pandemic. The COVID-19 Houston Response Projects competition is open to all undergraduate and graduate students and includes both weekly prizes and larger awards that will be given at the D2K Virtual Showcase April 22.

Teams must register to compete. For more information, visit the competition homepage:

April 2, 5 p.m.

OpenRICE offers free sessions to all

OpenRice, an initiative of the Glasscock School of Continuing Studies, will offer a series of free online sessions to help Houstonians gain a greater understanding of coronavirus-related issues. The series begins at noon April 3 with a session titled “Pandemic’s Box: Now the Workforce is Remote, Where Do We Go From Here?”

Future sessions will discuss nonprofit budgeting and crisis management, online learning through a teacher’s lens, meditation for crisis and uncertainty and reframing leadership in times of crisis.

Details on each are available here:

April 1, 3:20 p.m.

Rice Alliance shifts, reschedules events

The Rice Alliance for Technology and Entrepreneurship has moved some events and postponed others. The alliance will hold its May 7 Energy Tech Venture Day online, rather than in person. The platform for energy tech ventures will offer streaming pitches starting at 9 a.m. Register on the alliance website in mid-April.

The alliance has also rescheduled the 20th annual Rice Business Plan Competition to June 18-20. Registration will be reopened for attendees in mid-May.

March 31, 1 p.m.

Rice Undergraduate Research Symposium adopts new format

The 2020 Rice Undergraduate Research Symposium will be held in a modified format April 15.

It will be nonsynchronous to allow for flexibility in judging recorded oral presentations. The judge registration form can be found here:

For more information, check the symposium website at or email

March 30, 4:15 p.m.

Rec Center modifies classes for minimal gym gear

The Rice Recreation Center has modified its live S.W.E.A.T. and Mind & Body classes, all on the Zoom platform, to require little to no gym equipment. The center has also added Zumba at 5 p.m. Wednesdays.

Links to join the Zero Equipment Bootcamp, Chiseled, Owl Pump and Zumba classes are available at

March 30, 4:05 p.m.

Linda Faye Williams Prize nominations extended

Due to the COVID-19 crisis, the nomination deadline for the Linda Faye Williams Prize for Social Justice has been extended to 11:50 p.m. April 7.

The prize was established in 2009 to recognize work that furthers social justice and enables understanding across boundaries of race, religion, gender, ethnicity, class, nationality, sexual orientation and ideology. The prize includes a $1,000 stipend and is awarded annually to a graduating senior or recent graduate who holds a bachelor’s degree.

Complete the nominating ballot here:

March 30, 1:40 p.m.

Corporate and Foundation Relations suspends April open house

The Rice Office of Corporate and Foundation Relations has suspended its April open house. The office notes that while working remotely, staffers are available to assist faculty and staff via email and video conferencing.

Contact the staff at or via the office website at for information and resources.

March 27, 12:37 p.m.

Academic policy changes and graduation accommodations announced

Undergraduate and graduate students expecting to graduate this spring will not be unduly penalized academically if they are enrolled in courses that cannot be completed due to the university’s response to the pandemic.

In addition, undergraduates can designate any letter grade courses taken this semester as pass/fail until the last day of class, April 24. Passing grades for pass/fail courses this semester will be allowed to meet undergraduate major, minor and certificate requirements.

The deadline for undergraduates and graduate students to drop a course has also been extended to April 24.

Additional information, links and answers to frequently asked questions are available at

March 26, 4:19 p.m.

Shepherd School updates class, performance schedules

Shepherd School of Music Dean Robert Yekovich posted that students are not permitted to access Alice Pratt Brown Hall until April 3, a date he pointed out is subject to change.

Practicing in the building is discontinued but Alice Pratt Brown Hall will remain open until 3 p.m. March 27 for retrieving personal items. Stay up to date with the school here:

March 26, 9:13 a.m.

Kinder Institute luncheon goes virtual

The annual Kinder Institute for Urban Research luncheon will be a virtual “Lunch-Out” this year, open to all who wish to participate. The program at 11:30 a.m. May 18 will feature this year’s Kinder Houston Area Survey.

Register for the event here:

March 26, 9:07 a.m.

RUPD ID office open, changes coming next week

The Rice University Police Department identification office will continue to operate under normal business hours, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., for the remainder of this week to process new and replacement ID cards, building access, key distribution and parking appeals.

RUPD office hours will change as of March 30. The ID office will be open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays, with staff working remotely on other days. The access control/lock shop will be open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays only. Work orders will be processed on campus on those days, and staff will work remotely all other days.

Send an email to for assistance with building access and key requests.

March 25, 3:30 p.m.

Blood drive on campus March 31

Rice Emergency Medical Services will host a drive for critically needed blood from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. March 31. Donors must make an appointment ahead of time, here:

Donations will be taken at the Cambridge Office Building. Rice EMS Director Lisa Basgall noted those who wish to come to campus to donate can park in the Cambridge Office Building lot by pressing the button at the gate.

No walk-in donors will be accepted in order to maintain appropriate social distancing. EMS personnel will be on site to remind people not to stay or socialize.

March 25, 1:10 p.m.

Virtual tai chi class offered

Rice’s Barbara and David Gibbs Recreation and Wellness Center will offer a virtual tai chi specialty class from 7 to 8 a.m. Mondays and Wednesdays via Zoom.

The class costs $80 for Rice students, staff, faculty and community members and $90 for non-Rice affiliates. To register, go to

March 25, 9:20 a.m.

Healthy RICE Healthy Life offers Thursday webinars

The “Healthy RICE. Healthy Life” wellness program will offer a webinar series at noon each Thursday focused on self-care and mental wellness. The free webinars will last 20-25 minutes each.

The programs:

March 26: Social Well-being with Social Distancing.
April 2: Self-Massage.
April 9: Gratitude.
April 16: Mindfulness.

Join the webinars via Webex here:

For audio only, call 312-535-8110 with passcode: 730 153 291.

March 25, 8:25 a.m.

All public dining at Rice closed

The Rice Dining team announced that as of today, all public dining options at Rice are closed.

March 24, 2:50 p.m.

Rice transportation changes

The Transportation Department announced that as of March 25, the only regular shuttle service in operation will be from from the Rice Village Apartments/Greenbriar Lot through the Inner Loop to the Graduate Apartments. The shuttle will run every 25 minutes from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m Monday to Friday. Night escort service will be provided by RUPD upon request.

A graduate shopping shuttle will run every 45 minutes on Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

March 24, 1:13 p.m.

Fondren Library all online

Fondren Library will move to a complete work-from-home model from March 25 through April 4.

The library will not scan or ship items to users until further notice. The outside book drops will remain open. If you have items from the Digital Media Commons (DMC), the library asks that you hold onto them until the department is open or email the DMC with questions.

March 24, 1 p.m.

Cashier’s office moves online March 25

The cashier’s office is open for business through 4 p.m. today for departments that need to submit deposits, change order requests or other in-person needs. As of March 25, the cashier’s staff will work remotely, but there will be open-office hours from 8:30 a.m. to noon each Friday.

Payments and other departmental deposits can be dropped in the secure drop box at the Allen Center entrance. Contact the office at 713-348-4946 or by email at

March 24, 12:40 p.m.

Disability Studies Series event moved online

The Disability Studies@Rice Series event, “The Digital Future of Disability Activism: A Conversation with Alice Wong and Sandy Ho,” will take place via Zoom at 4:30 p.m. April 3. Live closed captioning will be provided. Join the Zoom meeting here:

For details, visit the Rice Events page:!view/event/event_id/57513

March 24, 12:35 p.m.

SAFE Office plans online training

The Rice Health and Wellness Center’s SAFE Office will provide training opportunities via Zoom. This week’s offerings:

• Introduction to Interpersonal Violence, Being a Responsible Employee and The SAFE Office, 2 p.m. March 26.
• Interpersonal Violence in the LGBTQ+ Community, 4 p.m. March 26.
• Critical Thinking in Sexuality Overview for Staff and Faculty, 10 a.m. March 27.

March 24, 12:25 p.m.

Coronavirus website redesigned, updated

The Rice Public Affairs web team has redesigned the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) website with links to symptom self-report forms in English and Spanish. Please bookmark the site to keep up with the latest official coronavirus information from Rice.

March 24, 10:30 a.m.

Delivery Services adjusts schedule

Rice Delivery Services will be open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday with reduced staff. Deliveries can be picked up during those hours with a Rice ID only. The last delivery of mail and packages this week will be March 25.

Starting March 30, the service will make deliveries on Tuesdays and Fridays only. Outgoing mail can be dropped off at Delivery Services or at the time of delivery to your department. If you are expecting packages, please confirm with Delivery Services that the package has been received and bring the tracking number with you at time of pickup.

All couriers will drop off packages in Delivery Services. USPS will continue to deliver student mail to the residential colleges.

March 23, 6 p.m.

Health economist Vivian Ho offers useful links

Vivian Ho, the James A. Baker III Institute Chair in Health Economics at Rice’s Baker Institute for Public Policy, offers thoughts, insights and links being followed by health policy experts in a Baker Institute blog, here:

March 23, 5:55 p.m.

Zoom with finance expert Michael Brandl

Michael Brandl, an associate clinical professor of finance at the Jones Graduate School of Business, will offer his take on the financial fallout from the coronavirus crisis in a public, live Zoom session at 11 a.m. March 25. Join the discussion at this link:

March 23, 4:10 p.m.

Jones School postpones ‘Ask the Expert’

The Jones Graduate School of Business has postponed the March 25 “Ask the Expert” session with Hollie Fulsom on event planning. The will be rescheduled for the fall.

March 22, 8:10 p.m.

Dining changes as of March 23

Sammy’s has been temporarily relocated to the Baker College Servery (building 5 on this map.).

Lunch options for Rice faculty, staff and graduate students will be available beginning Monday 7-9 a.m. for breakfast tacos and sandwiches and 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. for lunch options from the Parliament of Chefs, WhooDeli, Grillosophy and In the Loop.

Only four people will be permitted into the serving area at a time. All orders will be carryout. Credit card and cash will be accepted. Faculty Club members may use their accounts.

Additionally, Audrey’s Coffee Shop at McNair Hall, Jones School of Business, will open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., to-go only. The Faculty Club at Cohen House and the Brochstein Pavilion remain closed.

March 22, 8 p.m.

All campus buildings locked starting March 23

Effective Monday, the university will lock all buildings on campus, according to a message from the Rice University Police Department. The only way to access them will be with a Rice ID.

Everyone at Rice will have access to buildings as they currently do, whether it’s where they work or where they live. Rice administrators ask you to carry your Rice ID card when accessing campus buildings.

Should you have any problems entering buildings you need to enter, email or call ext. 3956 for assistance during office hours (8:30 a.m. to  4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday). If you need help after hours, please contact RUPD dispatch at ext. 6000.

March 20, 3:30 p.m.

GIS/Data Center moves to Zoom

Fondren Library’s GIS/Data Center will run virtually via Zoom for the remainder of the semester.

First-time patrons can schedule an appointment via a GDC Help Request Form. Returning patrons may book a Google appointment. All faculty, staff and students at Rice, as well as visitors who are members of Friends of Fondren Library at the Library Fellow Membership Level, are eligible for individual assistance.

Contact with questions.

March 20, 2:06 p.m.

D2K Consulting goes virtual for remainder of semester

The Rice Data to Knowledge Lab Consulting Clinic will be run virtually via Zoom for the rest of the spring semester.

The clinic will be open for online business starting March 23 and will be held every Monday throughout the semester. The clinic offers free advice and assistance for those with data science challenges, including data acquisition, database management, experimental design, data visualization, statistical analysis and modeling, machine learning and more.

RSVP here to schedule a virtual consultation on Mondays from 1-4 p.m. For more information, visit or contact

March 20, 12:36 p.m.

Student Center goes virtual

The Rice Student Center has closed its physical office but remains available online through Zoom meetings.

Staff are available from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday. Click here for more info on how to get in touch via Zoom.

Questions about events that were scheduled to take place at the Student Center or about club activities can be sent to

The Student Center also plans on offering virtual programming, which will be advertised on OwlNest.

March 20, 12:22 p.m.

Two Baker Institute webinars on tap

The Baker Institute for Public Policy has announced two webinars to address the impact of COVID-19.

At 3 p.m. March 26, Peter Hotez, a fellow in disease and poverty at the Baker Institute’s Center for Health and Biosciences and dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine, will discuss the threat to global security and highlight efforts to counteract the virus’ spread through his work as a prominent vaccine scientist and expert on international science diplomacy. He will answer viewer questions.

At 1 p.m. April 1, Tony Payan, director of the Baker Institute’s Center for the United States and Mexico, will discuss Mexico’s response to and capacity to deal with the outbreak.

More info on the Hotez webinar and a link to submit questions can be found here. Read more on Payan’s event here.

March 20, 12:10 p.m.

Spaceport Frontier Lecture moves online

The Spaceport Frontier Lecture scheduled for April 9 at 7 p.m. with Martian geologist Kirsten Siebach, an assistant professor of Earth, environmental and planetary sciences, will take place as planned, but online.

The lecture, titled “Reading the Martian Rock Record: Stories of a Previously Habitable World,” will be available via Zoom at Registration is required at

March 20, noon

Gated lots open to all registered to park at Rice

According to Rice Parking and Transportation, until further notice, those registered for parking at Rice and commuting to campus may use any gated parking facility with their key cards.

Nongated lots need to remain for those permits only, and designated spaces need to remain available for those to whom they are assigned.

March 20, 11:54 a.m.

Friedman Holistic Garden activities on hold

Officials at the Betty and Jacob Friedman Holistic Garden announced there will be no more vegetable and herbs plant sales for the foreseeable future, and it will not be able to hold the Songbird and Butterfly Habitat Plant Sale. There will also be no more volunteer activities at the garden for the foreseeable future, though some volunteers may be called upon for the chicken project and other activities.

March 20, 9:35 a.m.

Rice’s 24-Hour Challenge campaign postponed

Rice’s 24-Hour Challenge, an alumni fundraising event scheduled for April 7, has been postponed to focus on the immediate needs of students and the Houston community.

Organizers suggest those who are interested in supporting students facing hardship amid the COVID-19 outbreak donate to the Access, Opportunity and Inclusion Gift Fund. For more information on the fund or to make a donation, visit

March 19, 4:05 p.m.

Shuttles to operate on modified schedule

The Rice University Shuttle System is adjusting its schedule as follows, effective March 23:

• Inner Loop/Greater Loop (combined): Monday-Friday, 6 a.m.-7 p.m. (every 10-15 minutes)

• Rice Village Apartments/Greenbriar: Monday-Friday, 7:30 a.m.-7 p.m. (every 15 minutes)

• BRC Express: Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-7 p.m. (every 10 minutes)

• Graduate Apartments: Monday-Friday, 7:30 a.m.-7 p.m. (every 15 minutes)

• Graduate Apartments Shopping: Wednesday, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. (every 45 minutes)

The BRC/TMC, Rice Village and Undergraduate routes are discontinued until further notice.

Night escorts by the Rice University Police Department are available by calling 713-348-6000.

March 19, 3:30 p.m.

Thresher goes online-only

The Rice Thresher, the campus student newspaper, is shifting to online-only operations for the remainder of the semester.

All coverage will be available at, but readers are welcome to sign up for the email newsletter at

March 19, 10:28 a.m.

Campus Store transitions to ‘virtual service’

The Rice Campus Store is going to “virtual service” until further notice, according to store manager David Tucker.

Through its website, the store will offer free e-books for the remainder of the semester and free ground shipping on other items. Details at the store website:

March 19, 9:38 a.m.

OpenStax reports surge in new users

OpenStax, the Rice University-based publisher of free online texts, has seen a surge in the number of new students, faculty members and schools seeking its services.

Read more in the story by Engineering’s Patrick Kurp:

March 19, 7:15 a.m.

Dean of Undergraduates Bridget Gorman and Dean of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies Seiichi Matsuda have issued updates to their respective students on academic accommodations for the rest of the spring semester.


Doctoral and thesis students:

Other graduate students:

March 18, 4:16 p.m.

More campus dining changes take effect Thursday

According to the Rice Dining team, beginning March 19, Rice Memorial Center will be closed. This includes Sammy’s, WhooDeli, Parliament and the Grill.

Lunch service will be available to faculty, staff and graduate students at the Cohen House Faculty Club. Cohen House members are welcome to continue using their membership accounts. Nonmembers may pay using credit card only.

Cohen House will be open from 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Dining service at this time is available as carryout only with limited options.

March 18, 12:50 p.m.

Rice School of Architecture Paris students are back in US

The Rice School of Architecture Paris is buttoned up as the coronavirus spreads through France. The school, Rice’s only remote campus, will resume instruction remotely this Friday, according to Rice Architecture Interim Dean John Casbarian, who also serves as the school’s director of external programs.

“The situation changed so rapidly in Paris that last Friday, when I met with them by Zoom, only one of them felt the need to return to the U.S. and only because of fear of visa issues,” Casbarian said. “But the very next day, when rumors of a lockdown in France circulated, it snowballed and, by today, everyone is safely back in the U.S.”

March 18, 11:30 a.m.

Glasscock suspends face-to-face instruction

The Susanne M. Glasscock School of Continuing Studies will suspend all face-to-face instruction and move to virtual learning environments for the remainder of the semester. There will be some rescheduling and cancellations of courses.

Information pertaining to each department within the Glasscock School can be found at

March 18, 10:49 a.m.

Doerr Institute updates programs

The Doerr Institute for New Leaders is making important updates to programs in light of the coronavirus outbreak to ensure students and the Rice community are not put at additional or unnecessary risk.

Doerr Institute for New Leaders team members are meeting via video conference. (Screenshot courtesy of the Doerr Institute)

Doerr Institute for New Leaders team members are meeting via video conference. (Screenshot courtesy of the Doerr Institute)

Due to the nature of the institute’s one-on-one coaching program, Activation, the Doerr team is requiring coaches and students to interact virtually rather than face-to-face for the remainder of the semester. In addition, the Synthesis group coaching and multisession Catalyst workshops will follow guidance from university leadership and either meet virtually or be rescheduled to a later date. Students can check their Canvas pages or text the Doerr Institute at 832-844-3213 for real-time updates to programs. These policy changes will be revisited at the beginning of the summer semester.

A recent letter from Executive Director Tom Kolditz has additional details. Read it here:

March 18, 9:41 a.m.

OpenStax opens resources during pandemic

The Rice University-based nonprofit OpenStax is responding to COVID-19 by helping students navigate their online courses, according to an email from Managing Director Daniel Williamson. He noted 28 courseware providers would make access free through the end of the term, and that OpenStax’s own courseware offerings, OpenStax Tutor and Rover by OpenStax, will be offered for free through the end of the semester.

OpenStax will hold a webinar with experts on transitioning courses online, which will be recorded and posted for the broader community, as well as a step-by-step pictorial guide on setting up a remote course and assigning OpenStax resources online.

Learn more about how OpenStax is responding to the pandemic here:

March 18, 9:10 a.m.

Fondren Library to close this afternoon

Fondren Library has announced it will close at 2 p.m. today and will remain closed “until advised by the university.” A small staff will remain on site to provide library services.

More details here:

March 18, 7:40 a.m.

Leebron issues updated guidance

Rice has enacted new policies to reduce on-campus activity until at least the end of the spring semester to slow the spread of COVID-19, President David Leebron has announced.

The new measures aim to significantly reduce the on-campus population, with appropriate “social distancing” — avoiding gatherings and maintaining a distance of six feet from others — in each building and work space.

Leebron’s full message is available here.

Among the new measures:

• Rice will reduce the number of on-campus research personnel by at least 75% by ramping down all on-campus research programs and adopting remote working and alternative work schedules by March 20.

• To lower the on-campus staff population from 2,700 to approximately 300 at any given time, supervisors must find ways to reduce the days staff deemed essential are on campus. These include working remotely, job sharing, rotations and other alternative work schedules. Supervisors must have a plan in place by March 20.

• In-person meetings are strongly discouraged when the meeting’s goals can be accomplished remotely. When in-person meetings are essential, Rice will follow the federal government guidance to limit gatherings to 10 people or less, with individuals spaced at least six feet apart.

• A ban on all university-sponsored international travel for faculty, staff, postdocs and students remains in place through April 30. Appeals for exceptions may be made to the provost’s office at

Any faculty, staff, new hire, student, new arriving student or visitor arriving from any Level 3 country, as defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, must self-isolate and stay away from campus and student housing and have no physical contact with the Rice community for two weeks after returning to the U.S.

Domestic travel is strongly discouraged.

• The following facilities will be closed starting March 19: Gibbs Recreation Center, Rice Memorial Center, the campus post office, Rice Children’s Campus and Brochstein Pavilion.

Fondren Library will also be closed to all physical visitors starting March 19 but will continue to provide remote access to digital content. Library staff are also available to consult via email or Skype. Physical materials from Fondren Library, the Library Service Center and interlibrary loan will be shipped to Rice ID holder’s homes.

On-campus retail food establishments will provide to-go service, but dining rooms will be closed.

• Remote delivery of spring semester classes remains set to begin March 23.

March 17, 4:08 p.m.

Rice Business carries on — online

Peter Rodriguez, dean and professor of strategic management at the Jones Graduate School of Business, noted that online classes for full-time students began Monday.

Online collaboration is underway at Rice Business. (Photo courtesy of Rice Business)

Online learning is underway at the Jones Graduate School of Business. (Photo courtesy of Rice Business)

“We’re working diligently to keep the momentum going,” he wrote. “While the majority of our online courses are being delivered from offices on campus or at home, some are delivered live from the classroom.

“We will work to ensure that all parts of the school further reduce in-person work at McNair Hall while continuing to serve our students and each other. We will also continue to reduce in-person meetings. I know it feels a bit uneasy out there, but remember that much of this chaos is safety in disguise. Be safe, be patient and support others through social distancing. Together, we’ll get through this!”

Keep up with Jones School developments at

March 17, 1:40 p.m.

Baker Institute events postponed; Hotez webinar is on

The Baker Institute for Public Policy has postponed events through April 30.

“It goes without saying that we must act with compassion toward one another and our community during this period,” Director Edward Djerejian wrote. “At the same time, it is also imperative that we maintain our dedication to our high level of research and activities even under the arrangement of working remotely through webinars and teleconferencing.”

An online webinar with Peter Hotez, fellow in disease and poverty with the Baker Institute Center for Health and Biosciences and dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine, remains scheduled for 3 p.m. March 26.

March 17, 10:40 a.m.

Conference USA cancels all spring sports 

All spring Conference USA intercollegiate athletic competitions have been canceled in response to the global COVID-19 outbreak, the conference announced.

Rice has suspended all athletic activities, including practices, until further notice. Fans who purchased single-game tickets to affected Rice home events will receive a refund.

For more information, visit 

Dining at Rice goes strictly to-go, Brochstein Pavilion closed 

To align with orders from Harris County, Rice Dining has closed all campus dining rooms for the next 15 days. To-go service only is available at Audrey’s Coffee Shop at the Jones School of Business, the BRC Café, Cohen House, Sammy’s and Whoo Deli. Brochstein Pavilion is closed until further notice. Full details are available at

The weekly Farmer’s Market is closed through at least April 30.

Fondren Library updates borrowing, lending policy 

As classes move online March 23, Fondren Library will change due dates for all materials to Aug. 25, the day after the beginning of the fall semester. Graduating seniors should return items before graduation or contact Fondren at to clear your account prior to graduation.

Fondren officials advise that those who have left with items still in their residences can return them when they come back to campus. Those who have items with them may keep them until they return to campus or mail them to Fondren using Media Mail postage.

Fondren’s hours of operation are now 7 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.- 6 p.m. Saturday and 1-5 p.m. Sunday for Rice students, faculty and staff with Rice IDs, through the Brochstein-side entrance. Visitor access has been suspended.

Fondren updates are available at

Rice Post Office to close after Tuesday; Delivery Services adjusts operations

The Rice Post Office will close until further notice at 4 p.m. March 17.

Delivery Services, next to the Campus Post Office, will continue to deliver USPS mail and packages to departments that remain open and will be open for shipping parcels Monday-Friday from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Delivery Services will accept deliveries from couriers if your office is closed.

Delivery Services will make deliveries on Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings from March 23-27. Outgoing mail should be dropped off on Tuesday and Thursday.

Mail and packages can be picked up at Delivery Services from 8 a.m.-5 pm Monday through Friday.

OEDK closes as alternative Showcase called off

The Oshman Engineering Design Kitchen (OEDK) has decided to close to student activity as of March 16, and has dropped tentative plans to hold the 2020 Engineering Design Showcase as a virtual event. Students will only be allowed into the facility to pack up their projects, and no work on projects will be allowed. Student card-swipe access will be turned off March 26.

A message from OEDK officials stated, “We feel that students would not be able to showcase their best work. In addition we felt the students had enough on their plate with all of the transitions and changes happening. We are very sad about this, but feel like it was the right decision.”

Plans are in the works to give students remote access to OEDK computers and software. More information is forthcoming to those students via email.

Recreation Center alters hours

The Gibbs Recreation Center has modified its hours of operation in response to the pandemic. Hours for the center and its competition pool are 6 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday.

Moody Center, Rice Cinema, Skyspace closed 

The Moody Center for the Arts and James Turrell Twilight Epiphany Skyspace are closed until further notice, and all public events scheduled for March and April have been canceled. The adjacent Rice Cinema has canceled all screenings through the end of March and the Rice Media Center gallery has suspended opening receptions ‪through April 30.

About Mike Williams

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