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Welcome to the Home Page for Natural Sciences Strategic Planning at Rice University

Mission Statement

The mission of the Wiess School of Natural Sciences is in the long tradition of Lovett's vision for the University. Our task is to create a community of scholars and learners that will attract the best minds in the world to generate scientific and technical knowledge at the forefront of inquiry and discourse, to educate new generations of scientists and scientifically literate citizens, and to contribute to the common good through outreach activities. To fulfill this mission, our specific aims are:

THE STRATEGIC PLAN is now available.


The Steering Committee for Strategic Planning for the Wiess School of Natural Sciences was charged with creating a vision for the Divison as a whole that will carry us over the next 5+ years. For this effort to be successful, we sought input from all interested parties, including faculty, staff, graduate and undergraduate students, and all other elements of the Rice University community. The purpose of this process was to identify goals for the Division and ways to achieve these goals, including mechanisms for overcoming anticipated impediments.

Four Subcommittees were established to gather and sift information relevant to their assigned areas: Faculty Issues and Research Resources, Undergraduate Education, Graduate and Postdoctoral Education, and Outreach. The membership of these Subcommittees is listed in each subcommittee's home page. These Subcommittees began their work during the Fall semester of 1996. Subcommittee reports are now complete and are available on each subcommittee home page as well as appendices to the Strategic Plan.

The process established by the Steering Committee included several venues used to obtain input from the larger community:

  1. During November, 1996, representatives of the Steering Committee met with Department faculty. Subcommittees met with graduate and undergraduate students during the remainder of the Fall, 1996 semester. These personal meetings were designed to generate input, both at the time of the meeting and through other mechanisms.

  2. An overall divisional summary of the departmental meetings is available. If you are interested in reading it, see the Summary of Meetings. A number of issues were articulated with regard to our campus infrastructure. A summary of these issues has been conveyed to the Deans, Provost, and President for consideration and corrective action. The infrastructure document is available, in part, as an appendix to the Strategic Plan.

  3. Listserves were established with links in the Web page for input to the Steering and Subcommittees.

  4. Workshops were held over the weekends of Jan. 18 and Jan. 25, 1997 in the four subcommittee areas in the Natural Sciences Strategic Planning task: Outreach, Faculty Issues and Research Resources, Undergraduate Education, and Graduate and Postdoctoral Education. Summaries of the recommendations that emerged from the workshops can be found through the home pages for the relevant Subcommittees.

    Participants in these workshops totaled about 150 members of the Rice community, including faculty, staff, administrators, students, and alumni. Each of the workshops began with a group session that provided orientation to the topic and to the process to be employed. Small groups addressed specific questions with recommendations and strategies for implementation. These workshops were not only very successful in focusing ideas and generating suggestions for the subcommittees, but these exercises provided a unique opportunity to meet others in the division and in the University with common interests.

  5. The Steering Committee generated a draft report that was circulated in late March. Opportunities for further input at open meetings were scheduled for April 1 at either 2-4 PM or 7-9 PM in Farnsworth Pavilion in the Rice Memorial Center. The draft was revised according to the input received, and the final report is now available.

Natural Sciences Strategic Planning Steering Committee

For additional information, please write to Kathy Matthews



Updated by Rachel Miller (rmiller@rice.edu)