Rice University

Location: Houston, Texas
Type: Private
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Speech Code Rating

Rice University has been given the speech code rating Yellow. Yellow light colleges and universities are those institutions with at least one ambiguous policy that too easily encourages administrative abuse and arbitrary application. Read more

Due Process Rating

Non-Sexual Misconduct

Read more
F

Sexual Misconduct

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D

  • Code of Student Conduct: Proscribed Conduct

    Speech Code Rating: Yellow
    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: March 7, 2019

    a. Mental or Bodily Harm, Reckless Action or Disregard: Intentionally inflicting or attempting to inflict mental or bodily harm on any person, including on the charged student; taking any reckless action, or showing reckless disregard, from which mental or bodily harm could result to any person, including to the cha... Read More
  • Code of Student Conduct: Proscribed Conduct

    Speech Code Rating: Yellow
    Speech Code Category: Internet Usage Policies
    Last updated: March 7, 2019

    Misuse or Abuse of Computational Facilities, including: … use of computational facilities to send obscene, abusive, harassing or threatening messages or to engage in stalking behavior or to repeatedly send unwanted email to individuals Read More
  • Rice University General Policy No. 802-82: Use of University Facilities and Scheduling Campus Events

    Speech Code Rating: Yellow
    Speech Code Category: Protest and Demonstration Policies
    Last updated: March 7, 2019

    1. For these events, the use of a Residential College facility requires the approval of the Master of that College.* The use of the facilities of the Athletic Department for an athletic event requires the approval of the Director of Athletics. The use of any other University facility for an event requires the approv... Read More
  • General Announcements: Student Responsibility

    Speech Code Rating: Yellow
    Speech Code Category: Other Speech Codes
    Last updated: March 7, 2019

    The university … reserves the right to insist on the withdrawal of any student whose conduct it judges to be clearly detrimental to the best interests of either the student or the university. The appropriate authorities take such action only after careful consideration. Read More
  • Policy No. 830-01: Sexual Harassment Policy and Procedures

    Speech Code Rating: Yellow
    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: March 7, 2019

    Unwelcome sexual advances, unwelcome requests for sexual favors, and other unwelcome verbal or physical behavior of a sexual nature constitute sexual harassment when: … Such conduct is reasonably regarded as offensive and has the purpose or effect of substantially interfering with the educational or work oppor... Read More
  • Faculty Handbook: Faculty Rights, Privileges, and Responsibilities

    Speech Code Rating: Green
    Speech Code Category: Advertised Commitments to Free Expression
    Last updated: March 7, 2019

    The law recognizes in academic freedom a principal means of safeguarding free expression throughout society. In Keyishian, Justice Brennan put academic freedom at the very core of First Amendment protections. Two other justices, Felix Frankfurter in Sweezy v. New Hampshire (1957) and Lewis Powell in Regents of the U... Read More
  • Rice University Policy No. 832: APPROPRIATE USE OF INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY

    Speech Code Rating: Green
    Speech Code Category: Internet Usage Policies
    Last updated: March 7, 2019

    Any communication, which is defamatory, harassing, interferes with other uses of University resources or constitutes an improper disclosure of protected University or sensitive personal data is prohibited. Read More
  • Rice University General Policy No. 802-82: Use of University Facilities and Scheduling Campus Events

    Speech Code Rating: Green
    Speech Code Category: Protest and Demonstration Policies
    Last updated: March 7, 2019

    Members of the University Community, including students, acting as individuals and not in the name of the University or any of its component parts, have the right to express their opinions, to picket, and to hold demonstrations or meetings on campus so long as such activities do not violate local, state, or federal ... Read More

Policies are rated on their inclusion of 10 due process safeguards. Each policy may receive 2 points for fully including that safeguard, 1 point for partial inclusion, and 0 points for no meaningful inclusion. Most, but not all, institutions have separate policies for sexual misconduct and all other misconduct. See FIRE’s Spotlight on Due Process report for more information.

Grades

Non-Sexual Misconduct

F
4/20
  • Presumption of innocence
  • Adequate and timely notice
  • Adequate time to prepare
  • Conflicts of interest prohibited
  • Right to challenge fact-finders
  • Access to all evidence
  • Right to face accuser and witness
  • Active participation of counsel
  • Meaningful right to appeal
  • Expulsion must be unanimous

Sexual Misconduct

D
6/20
  • Presumption of innocence
  • Adequate and timely notice
  • Adequate time to prepare
  • Conflicts of interest prohibited
  • Right to challenge fact-finders
  • Access to all evidence
  • Right to face accuser and witness
  • Active participation of counsel
  • Meaningful right to appeal
  • Expulsion must be unanimous
At present, FIRE has not been publicly involved in any cases at this school.
  • Speech Code Countdown: ‘U.S. News’ Top 25 College Rankings, Numbers 19-11

    October 6, 2016

    FIRE’s U.S. News & World Report “Best Colleges” Countdown continues today. We’re giving you a school-by-school analysis of just how well America’s “Best Colleges” do when it comes to protecting free speech on campus. Unfortunately, in today’s crop of top campuses, troubling speech codes abound. As part of FIRE’s fresh look at U.S. News’ top-ranked… Read more

  • Rice University Student Stands Up for Free Speech in ‘The Rice Thresher’

    November 22, 2011

    Pro tip: If your speech silences someone else’s speech, there’s a good chance that your speech is no longer protected. That is the subject of an op-ed last week in The Rice Thresher by Rice University student Anthony Lauriello, titled "Eric Cantor protests at Rice University an affront to open discourse and free speech." According… Read more

  • Rice Editorial Misses the Point on Free Speech

    March 27, 2009

    An editorial in Rice University’s student newspaper, The Rice Thresher, recently took FIRE to task for giving Rice a "red-light" rating for maintaining policies that censor student speech. As FIRE explained in the blog post that drew the Thresher‘s attention, Rice’s red-light rating is because of its policy on Appropriate Use of Information Technology Resources…. Read more

  • The State of Free Speech on Campus: Rice University

    March 9, 2009

    Throughout the spring semester, FIRE is drawing special attention to the state of free speech at America’s top 25 national universities (as ranked by U.S. News & World Report). Today we review policies at Rice University, which FIRE has given a red-light rating for maintaining a policy that clearly and substantially restricts free expression on… Read more