Rice University and Texas Southern University have formalized a partnership in order to share expertise, resources and best practices while the institutions strive to strengthen their ties.
A press release stated that the collaboration will "foster meaningful dialog; seed research partnership; create opportunities for staff, faculty and students;" as well as be a useful resource for the City of Houston.
Rice President Reginald DesRoches said, "We understand that the success of our institutions as well as our society depends on full participation and engagement from all individuals with a variety of backgrounds and experience." We are committed to creating a strong partnership to ensure that every member of the community has an opportunity to flourish and succeed.
The agreement was signed at an event on May 9, and is a formal acknowledgement of the collaborative efforts both institutions have made in the past years to work together on research-related projects, as well as teaching partnerships. Rice has contributed to the Texas Trends Survey and is involved in a project to attract more doctoral students from diverse backgrounds to STEM fields.
Rice's Center for African and African American Studies partnered two years ago with TSU and the University of Houston to form the Southeastern Texas African and African American Studies Consortium.
Amy Dittmar, Rice's Provost, said that there were a few "aha" moments when it came to the ways in which Rice and TSU can help each other by forming a partnership. She said that TSU, for example, has the Thurgood Marshall School of Law and College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, whereas Rice doesn't.
Rice has a campus in Paris and, with the global work of Rice360 and other institutions, both students and faculty will have greater opportunities to travel and study abroad.
Rice and TSU can now find new ways of working together. This will allow the universities to take advantage of each other's strengths. Dittmar stated that future opportunities have not been written down yet. However, the two universities hope to gather faculty in the fall for ideas.
Lesia Crumpton Young, TSU's president, said that Texas Southern University was an elite historically Black college or institution focused on transforming students' lives and responding to the challenges facing corporate America and urban areas. This partnership will accelerate our efforts to accomplish this mission, and achieve unprecedented success. Houston and the citizens of Texas will benefit greatly from our partnership.
Crumpton Young, Crumpton's daughter, told the Houston Business Journal that she hoped TSU would become the largest HBCU in the country and the first R1 university.
Rice University is committed to a culture that promotes diversity, equity, and inclusion. One way it can help achieve this is by partnering with TSU. The university's George R. Brown School of Engineering has also recently opened the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion outreach center.