Policy Number: 323

Policy Suffix:

I. General Policy

The Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act amendments of 1989 apply specifically to universities, requiring Rice University to notify its students and employees that the unlawful possession, use, or distribution of illegal drugs and alcohol on the property of Rice University, or as part of any university activities, is prohibited.

"Illegal drugs" are those chemicals that are specifically identified in Schedule I-V, section 202 of the Federal Control Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 812).

II. Elaboration of Policy

In a good faith effort to comply with the federal requirements, Rice University will take the following actions:

1. Early in each academic year all employees and students will be informed that:

(a) The unlawful manufacture, possession, use, or distribution of illegal drugs (including inhalants) and alcohol on the property of Rice University, or as part of any University activities, is prohibited except in the course of authorized teaching and research. Off campus activities of student groups recognized by the University are included in this statement.

(b) Significant health risks are associated with the use of illegal drugs and the abuse of alcohol.

(c) Confidential counseling, treatment, and rehabilitation programs are available to both students and employees. Students may contact the Rice Counseling Center, the Rice Student Health Service, or the Rice University Health Education Office. Employees may contact the Rice University Employee Assistance Program or the Rice University Health Education Office. The Houston Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse is a community agency available to both students and employees.

(d) Serious legal sanctions may be invoked under local, state, and federal laws for the unlawful manufacturing, possession, use, or distribution of illegal drugs and alcohol. These sanctions include fines and incarceration commensurate with the offense.

An employee whose job performance is impaired due to substance abuse will be responsible for obtaining treatment and correcting problems in job performance. An employee who fails to perform on the job will be subject to the University's usual administrative actions which include sanctions up to and including dismissal.

2. The University's usual investigative and disciplinary procedures will be used to address any allegations that this policy has been violated. In all cases the University will protect, to the maximum extent possible, the rights of all parties involved. A person who wishes to report a violation of this policy should contact the following: The Provost if the allegation is against a faculty member; Human Resources if against a staff member; the Dean of Undergraduates if against an undergraduate student, or the Dean of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies if against a graduate student.

3. When a violation of this policy occurs, the University will take appropriate action, which may include requiring the student or employee to participate in a drug or alcohol rehabilitation program. Disciplinary sanctions up to and including expulsion, termination of employment, and/or referral for prosecution are also available to the University.

4. Federal law requires that a person who is convicted in state or federal court of violating a criminal drug statute in the workplace must inform their employer within five (5) calendar days of the conviction. A student who receives a federal grant such as a Pell grant must also report a conviction to the granting agency. If the violation involves a person engaged in federally sponsored research, the Vice President for Research is obligated to inform the appropriate sponsoring agency of the conviction within ten (10) calendar days.

5. As required by federal law, Rice University will conduct biennial reviews to determine the effectiveness of this policy. Copies of the available programs and biennial reviews will be supplied to the Federal Secretary of Education upon request.

III. Responsible Official and Key Offices to Contact Regarding the Policy and its Implementation

Responsible Official: Executive Vice President for Operations, Finance, & Support

Other Key Offices: Human Resources; Provost; Office of Ethics, Compliance, and Enterprise Risk


David W. Leebron, President

Policy History

Clerical Change

March 4, 2024 (updated title of responsible official)

August 15, 2023 (updated title of responsible official)

January 31, 2023

January 26, 2023 (removed inactive external links)

January 12, 2023

September 27, 2022 (Updated responsible official)

January 8, 2017


October 1, 1996, December 20, 1991, March 30, 1990


March 17, 1989