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RECOMMENDED BOARD ACTION ITEM

WILLIAM MARSH RICE UNIVERSITY

BOARD OF TRUSTEES

DECEMBER 15, 2005

Growth in Undergraduate Enrollment  

Whereas the Board of Trustees has discussed the proposal to increase undergraduate enrollment by approximately 30 percent, from about 2,900 to about 3,800, over the next decade, and the implications of such growth for the future of the university;

RESOLVED, that the Board of Trustees adopt the following resolution: 

  • Whereas, the Board of Trustees has discussed the importance of growing the size of the university to realize more fully Rice's ambition as an institution of national and international distinction, one that is able to attract the very best students and researchers from around the globe; and
  • Whereas, such growth must be carefully planned and occur in ways that preserve the distinctive features of our culture and campus, provide an undergraduate educational experience characterized by meaningful direct interactions with faculty and residential life in the colleges, and maintain and enhance the extraordinary quality and diversity of our student body;

RESOLVED, that the Board of Trustees approves the proposal to increase undergraduate enrollment by approximately 30 percent, from about 2,900 to about 3,800, over the next decade, and

 

RESOLVED FURTHER, that the appropriate officers of the university be, and hereby are, authorized and directed, for and in the name of the university, to take such actions to effectuate the foregoing resolutions. 

Background  

  • Such growth will enable us to develop a more dynamic and diverse campus environment, provide the benefits of a Rice education to a larger number of outstanding students, increase our faculty in strategic areas, improve our services, enhance employment opportunities for our students, expand our alumni networks and potential donor base, and more effectively use our infrastructure.
  • Increasing undergraduate enrollment to approximately 3,800 is financially viable and provides resources-human and financial-to expand Rice's academic reach.
  • The increase in net tuition revenue resulting from growth would allow Rice to borrow more to meet its capital needs and remain within a given rating category.
  • Growth projections assume that the entering class increases from approximately 725 freshmen (plus ~50 transfers) in fall 2006 to about 935 freshmen (plus ~50 transfers) beginning in fall 2009.
  • Enrollment growth will be paced with additional housing with the goal of providing on-campus housing for about 80 percent of undergraduates.

Download the Size Background Document (.pdf).