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 12:24 PM, April 26, 2006, Blogger kjb434 said...

Not to tell rice how to run their university, but I think if they raise their student population (still being selective) and some of there restrictions on the height of new buildings, they my solve some of there problems.

Some civil engineering graduates have told me that students in the program now have to take several classes at UofH because there aren't enough students in the program to teach some courses. And the classes the do have often have 4 - 10 people.

I think the University can keep their small college feel even if they slowly grow to around 10,000 full time students versus around 2500 or 3000. They can also keep the portions of the university that is either historic or architectually congruent along and build on the parking areas in the back with additional garage parking.

It would be the same premise as Loyola and Tulane in New Orleans.

Anyway, the website about Houston is cool.

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 3:36 PM, April 26, 2006, Blogger kjb434 said...

After I sent the link to a fellow co-worker that graduated from Rice, we talked about the size of the university. She mentioned the same thing. I think the University could grow nicely. Just keep it slow and managed so quality is not lost.

Also, the rice graduates in my office I sent the link too were fairly impressed with the site and mentioned it must be part of the internationally diverse student body they are trying achieve.

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 8:09 AM, April 27, 2006, Blogger kjb434 said...


Thanks for the correction of the height thing. I heard if from some rice students.

Good to know they are expanding. I think the university has plenty of room to grow on its campus without changing much of the main older part of the campus.

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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