Gender Identity

Rice University remains committed to equal opportunity in education and employment. The University does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national or ethnic origin, ancestry, age, disability, or veteran status in admissions, educational programs, or employment.

The University's most recent non-discrimination policy now also prohibits discrimination based on a person's "gender identity", which includes gender expression. It is an extension of the University's existing philosophy of judging individuals on their abilities and merit, and it reinforces an already strong commitment to inclusiveness at Rice. This policy recognizes that gender identity issues should not be relevant to decision-making in education or employment and removes gender identity as a possible form of discrimination. The policy modification is intended to send a message of welcome, respect, and encouragement to all members and potential members of the Rice community, including transgender individuals. Rice strives to foster a safe and welcoming environment for all members of its community.

All persons have a "gender identity," which is a person's internal self-awareness of being either male or female, masculine or feminine, or something in between. For most persons, gender identity is consistent with their sex at birth, but "transgender" individuals experience their gender identity as not conforming to their sex at birth or to gender stereotypes. Transgender persons may indicate their gender identity by conducting themselves in ways that are inconsistent with gender stereotypes, changing their appearance or dress in ways that are more consistent with their gender identity, changing their names or undergoing medical sex reassignment.

What are the benefits of this policy modification?

  • Reinforcing Rice's commitment to inclusiveness and respect for all community members
  • Reaching out to attract the most talented students, faculty, and staff available
  • Preventing the discriminatory application of gender stereotypes

The University does not anticipate significant changes arising from this policy modification. Rice will continue to foster a safe and welcoming educational and work environment, and it will factor this policy change into its ongoing efforts toward inclusiveness.

If students wish to learn more about gender identity issues, they may consult the Rice Counseling Center, the Office of Multicultural Affairs, or Rice's GLBT Council. Employees may contact the Human Resources Office, Rice's employee assistance program, or the Director of Affirmative Action & Equal Employment Opportunity Programs. There are also numerous useful resources available online and in the local community.