First Annual Rice Business DEI Report Reveals Actions to Foster a Culture of Respect, Opportunity | Rice News | news and media relations

Rice Business has released its first annual Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) report.

The report highlights internal efforts to become a more welcoming and accepting community, a top priority for Peter Rodriguez, Dean of Jones Graduate School of Business.

“People come here to collaborate, to study, to learn,” Rodriguez said. “And they bring their entire background with them: their history, their family history, their culture, their identity, their religion, their nationality — all of those things come together. We must do everything in our power to ensure that people here feel accepted and included and that we thrive as an organization. And that’s why we’re committed to DEI as a core part of our culture here at Rice Business.”

The school’s DEI office was expanded in response to the Task Force on Racial Equity and Social Justice established by Rodriguez in 2020. Its mission is to create an environment where all students feel included and are valued and respected by providing opportunities for dialogue and learning through initiatives and programs for the Rice Business Community.

Students at Rice Business

DEI is embedded in every facet of how students, faculty and staff interact with one another, said Connie Porter, Senior Associate Dean for DEI and Associate Clinical Professor of Marketing at Jones School. The office helps improve the student experience through recruitment and career support, as well as curriculum complements that increase “cultural competence” through “everyday inclusion,” Porter explained.

“We want every member of our community to develop,” she said.

The report highlights the DEI office’s actions in support of its mission in five strategic areas: school culture, leadership and oversight, curriculum and programs, external engagement, and student, faculty and staff development.

“We want every member of our community, regardless of race, ethnicity, nationality, religious beliefs, political opinions, gender, or any other aspect of their identity, to feel fully accepted, included, and valued,” Porter said. “Each has tremendous talent and potential to contribute as an ally, advocate, teacher, scholar and/or leader.”

This year, more women, more Asian students, more Black students, and more LGBTQ identifying students came to Rice Business to pursue an MBA. The full report can be found here.


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