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Physical Address:
Office of Learning and Professional Development
5615 Kirby Dr, Suite 360
Houston, Texas 77005

Mailing Address:
Human Resources
Office of Learning and Professional Development
P.O. Box 1892, MS 98
Houston, Texas 77251-1892

Telephone: 713-348-6130
Fax: 713-348-5428
Email: learn@rice.edu  

Learning and Professional Development Staff    

Map and Directions  

RiceLeaders Program Conception 

The RiceLeaders Program was developed in 2006 (and launched in 2007) to support the execution of Rice University’s Vision for the Second Century (V2C).  Research has shown that leadership plays an increasingly important role in organizational change efforts, but focusing leadership development on individuals is increasingly ineffective because:  

  • the point of intervention is wrong (it maximizes the contribution of the individual vs. the organization)   
  • it misses the organizational context   
  • it focuses too much on either end of the execution spectrum (grand strategy or tactics), instead of at the operational level, where the real leverage exists   
  • there’s no supporting structure once the employee returns to work.   

The leadership development available through RiceLeaders occurs  

  • over time   
  • in cohort groups   
  • with a focus on the implementation level   

Kevin Kirby, Ed.D., the Vice President for Administration, and Mary Cronin, the Associate Vice President for Human Resources, engaged Brent Smith, Ph.D., a faculty member at Rice University’s Jones Graduate School of Business and The London School of Business, to lead the program design initiative because of his expertise in the field, and his previous experience designing similar programs.  

Based on their collective experiences, Kirby, Cronin and Smith brainstormed the key topic areas of the RiceLeaders curriculum, which included:  

  • self awareness-based leadership and assessments   
  • creativity   
  • communication   
  • strategy (implementation is the responsibility of each individual, not Rice as an institution)   
  • teams (the V2C implementation would require teamwork)   

In addition, the program was designed to include:  

  • coaching - to support participants’ interpretations of their assessment results, and bridge the gap “white space” between modules   
  • action learning projects - to apply skills learned in the program, and provide continuity between modules 



RiceLeaders Home    

Overview Presentation   


Action Learning Projects