Kelly Fox, Vice President of Finance and Administration, provided the following update to the Rice Community via email on April 17th.
welcome to join Don Dennis, Weiss ’81, to finance and management. Don will oversee the Rice Real Estate Group and lead the Capital Excellence Initiative within F&A. As an alumni with extensive experience in the industry, Don joins Rice with a wealth of understanding of our university and our ambitions as we move forward.
Starting in real estate banking in 1981, Don has spent his entire career in the commercial real estate industry. The projects he has worked on range in size and complexity from corporate office facilities to large industrial ventures and build-to-suits. project. He has experience in rapid development, design and construction, and third party construction in multiple states. This broader perspective will enable F&A to provide the services necessary to deliver Rice’s new strategic plans.
In addition to welcoming Don to the team, I am pleased to share the recent organizational changes within F&A. This improves the coordination of services.
- new!Campus Safety Department
- Our new Campus Safety Division will consist of the Rice University Police Department, Crisis Management Department, and Environmental Health and Safety Department. In addition, lab operations reported to Kathryn Cavender, and the department became known as Environmental Health, Safety, and Lab Operations. Aligning these departments creates greater opportunities for synergies, enhanced collaboration, and resource sharing. The associate vice in charge of campus safety and her president’s internal investigation will begin in the coming weeks.
- new!Real Estate and Facility Department
- With Don Dennis at the helm, the Real Estate and Facilities and Capital Planning (formerly Facilities Engineering and Planning) offices will be housed within the new Real Estate and Facilities Division. Integrating these interconnected offices ensures alignment and broadens expertise for initiatives focused both internally and externally. Anjira Gilmore will continue to serve as interim associate her vice and her president overseeing facility and capital planning. Energy Sustainability, led by Richard Johnson, will remain under Gilmore’s oversight.
- new!Campus Services and Sustainability Department
- A new Sustainability Operations Department has been created to underscore F&A’s commitment to creating a more sustainable and inclusive campus environment.
- In addition to sustainability operations, housing and dining, parking and transportation, delivery services, and disability assistance services also report to the newly created Sustainability and Campus Services Department.
- Mark Dittmann will serve as Interim Senior Associate Vice President until his retirement in June. A national search will be conducted for his successor.
- new!Change control room
- Given the high demand for change management support across F&A initiatives, a new office with appointed positions has been created under the Operational Excellence & Engagement department. Staff members are assigned to strategic initiatives and lead and execute change management and project management activities.
- new! F&A Intensive Business Support
- Gerilyn Gordon begins providing centralized business support for F&A. In this new role, she will assist her F&A department with financial and HR related transactions.
- Reorg — Compliance and Risk Management
- The Office of Compliance and Risk Management reports directly to the Office of Legal Counsel. This will allow both groups to work more collaboratively on complementary priorities such as compliance, risk and legal guidance.
We will discuss these changes in more detail in our upcoming admin forum.