Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Rice promotes Houston

It's late, so just a quick pass-along tonight. Check out Rice University's new web site promoting Houston. Very cool opening top-ten countdown animation with music, and I think the content pages do a great job selling Houston very concisely, especially the "Fact or Fiction" section. Rice is trying to be more competitive attracting top students nationally who might have a negative impression of Houston, and I think this web site can certainly help in that regard. Very well done.


At 7:25 AM, April 26, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Best Houston promo I've ever seen, bar none. The City needs to rent this from the good people at Rice for their own campaign.

At 1:08 PM, April 26, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've got to quibble with one item on the fact or fiction page. Item 2 under "Fiction" reads "It's Hot in Houston," which of course is a self-evident fact. The Rice marketeers would build a lot of credibility by being forthright. Something along the lines of: "The weather in August in brutal." Do it in the spirit that Al Ries and Jack Trout highlighted when the praised the Listerine slogan: "The taste you'll hate, twice a day."

At 2:07 PM, April 26, 2006, Blogger Tory Gattis said...

Rice is currently on track to grow the student body about a third (I think), but nowhere near the 10,000 you're talking about.

I think they're fairly honest about the summer heat, but I think it's good they point out the mild winters - and that's the beauty of the university calendar: you leave Houston to go home during the *summer*. Going to school in the north just sucks: you miss the best-weather months of the year.

At 4:43 PM, April 26, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Being a Rice civil engineering graduate, I can speak to the second comment. Since I graduated in 1999, the civil engineering department has merged with the environmental department, and since then the civil curriculum has dwindled. The problem isn't a lack of students. We had a class of 15, which is small but enough to run classes for, and it wouldn't have been hard to attract some more students to the major. The problem is a lack of professors, because the university wouldn't let the department replace some retired faculty, and because the department couldn't attract qualified candidates. In the end that all came down to landing reasearch grants: the university expected profs to pay their own way, but it's hard for a small department to attract grants. Will more students fix that? Not automatically. But better leadership could.
By the way, Rice really doesn't have any restrictions on building height nor a lack of space to build on. And the next Rice building project will likely be a high-rise at the corner of University and Main.

At 10:11 PM, April 26, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I recently flew from Houston to LA next to a Taiwanese (from Taiwan, not an immigrant) girl with flawless English who told me she is choosing Rice over Stanford and Ivy League. Her deciding factor? The weather and the friendliness. Apparently, Taipei has the same kind of weather and she thought that people in Houston were much more friendly than Northeasterners or Californians.

If we want to be a World Class city remember that most of the world lives in places where the weather isn't much better than it is in Houston.

At 2:11 PM, April 28, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rice is currently on track to grow the student body about a third (I think), but nowhere near the 10,000 you're talking about.

correct. The targeted number for undergraduate enrollment is to reach 3,800 students within the next decade. Current undergraduate enrollment is just slightly above 3,000.

And the classes the do have often have 4 - 10 people.

The median class size is 15. This is a good thing. The undergraduate student to faculty ratio is 5:1.


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