Policy Number: 815

Policy Suffix:

I. General Policy

Rice University is committed to the principle of equal opportunity in education and employment, and it is the policy of the University to attract qualified individuals of diverse backgrounds to its faculty, staff and student body. Accordingly, Rice University admits and employs individuals on the basis of their qualifications and does not discriminate against individuals on the basis of their sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, religion, race, ethnicity, national origin, immigration status, veteran status, or citizenship status.

This policy applies to all employees (faculty and staff) and students.

II. Roles and Responsibilities

The central authority for the implementation of this policy is the Office of Access, Equity and Equal Opportunity (AEEO). The Executive Director for Access, Equity, and Equal Opportunity is the director of AEEO and the primary University official responsible for the implementation and interpretation of this policy. Further, the Executive Director is designated as the university’s primary Equal Employment Opportunity official and Title IX Coordinator. The Executive Director is also assisted by Deputy Title IX Coordinators.

III. Elaboration of Policy

A. Rice University seeks to attract qualified persons of diverse backgrounds and takes affirmative action in employment by recruiting, hiring and advancing women, members of underrepresented minority groups, and qualified special disabled veterans, veterans of the Vietnam era, recently separated veterans, and other protected veterans (as those categories are defined by law).

B. In its employment and admission practices, Rice University conforms with all applicable Federal and State statutes and regulations. The University, as an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer, has a legal obligation to collect and maintain personal and employment data required for reporting purposes.

C. Inquiries concerning the University's policies and compliance with applicable laws may be directed to the Office of Access, Equity and Equal Opportunity, 6100 Main Street (MS 130) Houston Texas 77005. 713-348-6405; aeeo@rice.edu.

D. Complaints that allege discrimination or harassment may be brought to the attention of the Executive Director (when involving students, employees, or visitors (including contractors)), the offices of the Dean of Undergraduates or Dean of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (when involving students), the Human Resources office (when involving employees) or through the University’s anonymous reporting system, Ethicspoint at www.rice.edu/ethics. The University will investigate complaints and provide effective remedial action where appropriate. The complaint process, including which office will respond to the complaint and under which university policy, will be determined after careful consideration of the facts alleged in the complaint. In the event that there is a conflict of interest, the University will appoint an alternative investigator in order to manage the conflict.

IV. Cross References to Related Policies

a. Policy 813: Whistleblower Protection
b. Policy 828: Sexual Misconduct Policy for Faculty, Staff and Students
c. Policy 829: Consensual Sexual or Romantic Relationships in the Educational or Workplace Environment
d. Policy 830: Policy on Discrimination and Harassment
e. Policy 100: Rice University Standards of Ethical Conduct

V. Responsible Official & Key Offices to Contact Regarding Policy

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

Key Offices: President; AEEO; Human Resources


David W. Leebron, President

Policy History


October 22, 2021; November 21, 2006, October 3, 1996; February 1, 1994; February 28, 1992; December 10, 1990; September 3, 1987; July 12, 1982; June 12, 1975

Clerical Change

March 4, 2024; October 24, 2023; August 15, 2023 (to update EVPFA title); January 18, 2023 (to update VPFA title); January 15, 2020 (to correct title of ADA/504 Coordinator); February 6, 2018 (to add responsible official, and formatting)


November 30, 1973