Rice names Nelson associate vice president for human resources

Doug Miller

Rice names Nelson associate vice president for human resources

HOUSTON – (Sept. 26, 2018) – Joan Nelson has been appointed Rice University’s associate vice president for human resources. Nelson, the associate vice chancellor and vice president of human resources at the University of Houston (UH), will join Rice in November. She succeeds Mary Cronin, who retired this summer.

Joan Nelson


Nelson was hired following a national search. “Joan was clearly the leading and consensus candidate throughout the process, and I am excited that she is coming to Rice to assume the role of chief human resource officer and to be a key member of our leadership team,” said Vice President for Administration Kevin Kirby.

Nelson, who held senior human resources positions at Texas Children’s Hospital and Continental Airlines prior to working at UH, joins Rice at a critical time as the university implements the Vision for the Second Century, Second Decade (V2C2) laid out by President David Leebron. Recruiting top faculty and staff members to campus and enhancing services that support the V2C2 will be critical to Rice’s teaching and research endeavors in the years ahead.

“I’m thrilled that Joan will be leading our human resource efforts and be part of our leadership team at Rice,” Leebron said. “Joan will bring both leadership and vision in this rapidly changing environment.”

Nelson will also oversee the continued implementation of Careers At Rice and the new information technology tools necessary for human resource processes at the university.

“I am delighted to be joining Rice University, where the human resource function will be an important enabler of the Vision for the Second Century, Second Decade,” Nelson said. “I look forward to working with the faculty, staff and students at Rice to articulate an innovative human capital vision for Rice and make that vision a reality.”

Nelson earned a bachelor’s degree in business and management at the University of Maryland University College and an MBA at UH. She is a certified Senior Professional in Human Resources.


This news release can be found online at https://news.rice.edu.

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Located on a 300-acre forested campus in Houston, Rice University is consistently ranked among the nation’s top 20 universities by U.S. News & World Report. Rice has highly respected schools of Architecture, Business, Continuing Studies, Engineering, Humanities, Music, Natural Sciences and Social Sciences and is home to the Baker Institute for Public Policy. With 3,970 undergraduates and 2,934 graduate students, Rice’s undergraduate student-to-faculty ratio is just under 6-to-1. Its residential college system builds close-knit communities and lifelong friendships, just one reason why Rice is ranked No. 1 for lots of race/class interaction and No. 2 for quality of life by the Princeton Review. Rice is also rated as a best value among private universities by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance. To read “What they’re saying about Rice,” go to http://tinyurl.com/RiceUniversityoverview.

About Jeff Falk

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