Policy Number: 100

Policy Suffix:

Shared values define the strength and character of the Rice community. Our values shape our culture and guide the behavior of all Rice community members, including our trustees, faculty, staff, students, and volunteers. Our values signal important messages to our visitors and business partners about what it means to engage with or become part of our community. Our name, RICE, helps recall our core values: Responsibility, Integrity, Community, Excellence. These values do not exclude or diminish other important values that our community cherishes, but they do represent an aspirational framework for how we guide our conduct and interact with each other.

Like all academic institutions, Rice operates in a highly regulated environment and must ensure that we meet our many obligations to our local, state and federal governments, those with whom we come into contact, and society as a whole. All members of the Rice University community are responsible for acting with high ethical standards and are accountable for their actions. We must all be aware of and comply with the policies, laws and regulations that govern our environment. Similarly, we are expected to use university resources wisely and prudently and in keeping with the non-profit and tax-exempt status of the university.

Our mission statement and values set forth our vision, while our policies and procedures provide the structure and detail necessary to achieve these aspirations. We have established the Standards of Ethical Conduct for the purpose of raising our awareness and fostering a culture of ethics and compliance across the campus. These standards are a combination of established Rice University policies, procedures, and programs organized around the RICE values framework.

In addition to adopting high standards for our own conduct, we all have a responsibility to speak up when we have a legal or ethical concern. The leadership at Rice University is committed to protecting from retaliation any individual who raises a concern in good faith. When you speak up, not only do you help us keep our promises, but you inspire others to do the same.

Mission Statement
As a leading research university with a distinctive commitment to undergraduate education, Rice University aspires to pathbreaking research, unsurpassed teaching, and contributions to the betterment of our world. It seeks to fulfill this mission by cultivating a diverse community of learning and discovery that produces leaders across the spectrum of human endeavor.

I. Standards of Ethical Conduct

Responsibility is fundamental to a mission-driven academic community. We understand our obligations and are accountable for our actions. We take responsibility for our actions and words, as well as our impact on our students, colleagues, coworkers and visitors. We also take responsibility for our mistakes. And we assume responsibility for taking appropriate action to assure that all members of the Rice community are also held accountable to our standards.

This value guides and informs the following University Policies:
Safety (313, 314 and 805)
Use of University Property (831)
Human Research Protection Policy (326)
Care and Humane Treatment of Animals (314)
Appropriate Use of Information Technology (832)
Whistleblower Protection (813)

Integrity lies at the foundation of everything we do. Our commitments to open inquiry and academic freedom require nothing less than complete academic and research integrity. In the classroom, office, laboratory, sports field, and residential facility, and when we engage with the community, we are committed to honesty and doing what is right.

This value guides and informs the following University Policies and resources:
Compliance with Law (427)
Research Misconduct (327)
Conflicts of Interest (216 and 838)
Disclosure and Management of Outside Activities and Outside Interests (218)
Gifts made from University Funds (826)
Copyright and Intellectual Property (333 and 334)
Financial Aid Code of Ethical Principles and Code of Conduct
Faculty Handbook
Code of Student Conduct

Community reflects our collective interest and our shared obligations to each other, the greater Houston community, and the world. Rice University is committed to serving the public and providing equal opportunity in education and employment for all individuals. We recognize that we are a diverse community whose members come from many different backgrounds and perspectives. We treat each other with respect and express that respect in our everyday interactions. We respect the rights of all participants in our community, including rights of privacy and expression.

This value guides and informs the following University Policies:
Equal Opportunity and Nondiscrimination (815)
Policy on Discrimination and Harassment (830)
Sexual Misconduct Policy (828)
University Programs or Activities Involving Minors (811)
Drug-free and Tobacco-free University (323 and 839)
Weapons (835)
Protection of University Data and Information (808)
Digital Information Accessibility {851}

Excellence for Rice means that, as individuals and as a university, we seek to achieve at the highest levels, whether in the classroom, studio, laboratory or playing field. This goal is reflected in our core mission of pursuing pathbreaking research and unsurpassed teaching for the betterment of our world. As we seek to advance the knowledge frontier, we must always be guided by our values. Our commitments to excellence and integrity mean that we do not take short cuts that fall short of our standards to achieve our aspirations.

This value guides and informs the following University Policies and resources:
Faculty Policies and Faculty Handbook
Training programs
Ethics and Compliance Program
Student Judicial Affairs and Code of Student Conduct

II. Reporting and Whistleblower Protection

Our shared expectation is that everyone in the Rice community will act with integrity and in accordance with our policies and the law. Full compliance with the law, regulations, and university policies is required, and anyone who believes there may have been a violation of any law, regulation or policy should speak up. See University Policy 427, Compliance with Law.

There are multiple avenues that you may pursue to report suspected or actual wrongful conduct. Whatever method you choose to use, the important thing is to speak up when you see or suspect wrongdoing.

The university prohibits retaliation in any form against a person for reporting in good faith. Further, it is expected that all members of the Rice community will cooperate fully with an investigation by the university or law enforcement agencies. The university will take all appropriate and necessary action to deal with a violation of this policy. See University Policy 813, Whistleblower Protection.

Reports of, or concerns about, wrongdoing should be as specific as possible and should include details about the alleged misconduct and any other information the individual believes will be useful in investigating and resolving the matter. Investigations will be handled with discretion and with as much confidentiality as possible.

You may report any concern anonymously using the Rice University EthicsLine, which is managed by Ethics Point, a third party vendor. Reports may be submitted anonymously and confidentially, in English or in Spanish, and will be directed to the appropriate university official for investigation. Reports will not be directed to any individual who is named in the report.

Rice University Anonymous Ethics Line You may either call 1-866-294-4633 (toll free), or go online at www.rice.edu/ethics

You may also report concerns related to government grants or contracts directly to the government.

III. Accountability and Consequences of Violations

All members of the Rice University community are expected to act in accordance with our values. A failure to act in accordance with laws, regulations, or university policies may cause harm to individuals, property, or our reputation in the community. Additionally, such actions may subject the university to sanctions, fines, or other penalties.

Accordingly, members of our community will be held responsible if they violate laws, regulations, or policies and may be subject to disciplinary action by the university for a serious or repeated violation, up to and including discharge for an employee or dismissal for a student.

IV. Rice University Resources

Rice University Ethics and Compliance Program

Rice University Policies

Rice University Faculty Handbook

Rice University Athletic Compliance

Rice University Research Compliance (including Animal and Human)

Rice University Student Judicial Programs and Code

Rice University Sexual Misconduct Policy and Resources

V. Government Reporting Hotlines

For National Science Foundation
1-800-428-2189 or https://nsf.gov/oig/report-fraud/

For Dept. of Defense 1-800-424-9098 or https://www.dodig.mil/hotline/

For Health and Human Services (including NIH) 1-800-HHS-TIPS or https://oig.hhs.gov/fraud/report-fraud/index.asp.

For the NIH Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare, 301-594-2061 or olawdco@mail.nih.gov

For the Dept. of Energy 1-800-541-1625 or https://energy.gov/ig/services

For the Dept. of Ed. Office for Civil Rights 1-800-421-3481 or https://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/complaintintro.html

For the State of Texas 1-800-TX-AUDIT or https://sao.fraud.texas.gov/

Revision History


March 4, 2024 (clerical changes to titles); August 15, 2023 (clerical changes to titles); May 1, 2023 (clerical changes to format of introductory preamble); January 18, 2023 (clerical changes to titles); January 12, 2023 (clerical changes to titles); March 26, 2021 (clerical changes to links and titles, added new policies); November 1, 2017 (clerical changes to links and titles)

September 22, 2015

Whom do I tell if I have a concern?
Your immediate supervisor or manager

Whom do I contact if it is not appropriate to report a concern to my immediate supervisor, or I do not feel comfortable doing so?

  • Human Resources
  • Department chair or dean of your school
  • For any concern, the Associate Vice President, Ethics, Compliance and Enterprise Risk & Chief Compliance Officer, the Chief Audit Executive, or the Office of General Counsel
  • For financial misconduct concerns, the Executive Vice President for Operations, Finance, & Support or Controller
  • For areas relating to violations of university policies, the Associate Vice President, Ethics, Compliance and Enterprise Risk & Chief Compliance Officer or the Office of General Counsel
  • For faculty-specific concerns, the appropriate dean or the Vice Provost for Academic Affairs
  • For research misconduct, the appropriate dean or the Vice Provost for Research.
  • For animal welfare, the Animal Welfare Hotline, the Animal Resources Facility Manager or the Vice Provost for Research.
  • For safety and environmental concerns, the Director of Environmental Health and Safety or the Executive Vice President for Operations, Finance, & Support.
  • For equality or nondiscrimination concerns (including sexual harassment), the Director of Equal Opportunity Programs and Affirmative Action or the Associate Vice President for Human Resources.
  • For any alleged sexual violence or misconduct that involves a student, a Title IX coordinators, the Dean of Undergraduates, the Dean of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies or the Rice Counseling Center.
  • For any alleged sexual violence or misconduct that involves an employee, a Title IX coordinators or the Associate Vice President for Human Resources.
  • For athletics or student athlete concerns (including NCAA compliance), the Senior Associate Athletic Director for Compliance, or the Athletic Director.
  • For any other issues or concerns that involve a student, the Dean of Undergraduates, the Dean of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies or the Rice Counseling Center.
  • For security concerns or for immediate help, the Rice University Police Department.
  • To report any concern anonymously, the Rice University Ethics Line.