The Rice Mile
The Origin of the Rice Mile
In 2014 at an annual retreat for all Rice deans, vice provosts, and vice presidents, the group discussed how important an effective, highly capable staff is to Rice’s ability to achieve our ambitious goals and fulfill our mission of teaching, research and the betterment of the world. They talked about what they believed to be the key attributes they looked for – in candidates for Rice jobs, in their current staff, and in candidates for Rice positions – that would make the difference for Rice, and best support our faculty and students in the achievement of our goals. After analyzing the suggestions that arose during the discussion, a consensus was reached and the following were determined to be the attributes and core competencies that represent staff members at Rice:
- The four Rice values of Responsibility, Integrity, Community, and Excellence and
- Four additional attributes of Mission-driven, Impact, Leadership, and Entrepreneurial focus.
Amazingly enough, it spelled RICE MILE. We added the descriptors and the examples for each of the values and attributes that arose during these discussions.
Many organizations and institutions of higher education have gone through similar processes in order to attract and retain world-class staff. We hope the RICE MILE will be used in many ways – it’s intended to be a practical tool to support hiring, onboarding, providing feedback, and recognizing and rewarding staff. Specific examples for using the RICE MILE as a tool may include:
- Sharing with prospective employees to communicate expectations for working at Rice
- Discussing during onboarding by restating expectations for being a staff member at Rice
- Creating development plans with staff to grow in specific areas identified in the RICE MILE
- Recognizing staff for demonstrating certain aspects of the RICE MILE