Well-being and Work-Life


The university is committed to the overall well-being, of each faculty and staff member. While Rice provides a supportive community of professionals, we recognize that employees in need will experience a wide range of emotions, behavior, and reactions, including extreme anger, frustration, fear, loss of control, and helplessness, on occasion. It is helpful for the supervisor to acknowledge these feelings and direct employees toward resources that are available to them.

The Employee Assistance Program (UTEAP) is a resource available to assist all employees and their dependents who may wish to speak with a trained counselor. The employee may contact UTEAP directly at 1-800-346-3549. In the event an employee confides in you regarding a perceived or actual threat of violence, please know that we take these concerns very seriously and they will be handled accordingly.

Employee Assistance Program (EAP)

About the Program

With the Employee Assistance Program, Rice employees and their loved ones (living in the same household) can access free, convenient, and confidential services on a variety of different topics. Some of the services Rice’s EAP offers include counseling sessions with a licensed mental health professional, legal and financial resources, WorkLife referrals, and more. All EAP services are private and completely confidential, and are available to you, your family members, dependents, or anyone significant in your life. An experienced consultant is just a phone call away!

How it Works

The Rice University EAP is administered by the University of Texas’ Employee Assistance Program (UTEAP), located in the Texas Medical Center. UTEAP provides experienced consultants offering face-to-face sessions on specific issues, free informational booklets, audio recordings, and referrals to resources and services in your community. Every Rice employee (including anyone significant in your life), has access to 3 free counseling sessions per issue, in addition to the other resources available online. Rice’s EAP is available to assist you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Rice’s EAP offers information, advice, and support on a wide range of everyday issues, including:

  • Stress and anxiety
  • Work conflicts
  • Parenting and family concerns
  • Relationship issues
  • Grief or bereavement
  • Anger management
  • Alcohol and drug problems
  • Health and wellness
  • Change and life transitions
  • Work and life issues
  • Financial
  • Legal
  • Education and everyday issues
Contact Information

You may contact a UTEAP consultant at (713) 500-3327 or toll-free at (800) 346-3549 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Alternatively, you may access Rice’s EAP online portal (Username: owls; Password: owls) to take advantage of helpful resources.

For questions about this program, please contact benefits@rice.edu or HRBP@rice.edu.

Emergency Loan Program

About the Program

The Emergency Loan Program, which was created in 2000, provides limited financial assistance to Rice staff and faculty who are experiencing an emergency situation of health and welfare.

Program Eligibility
  • Benefits-eligible faculty and staff who have completed their new employee six-month probationary period and who are in good standing with the university.
  • Employees are limited to one loan per twelve-month period.
  • Employees with an existing loan are not eligible for new loans until the existing loan is paid in full.
Types of Emergencies


  • Unforeseen health emergency of the employee or immediate family member (spouse, domestic partner, dependent children)
  • Limited funeral costs for immediate family members


  • Loss of housing (including eviction), due to extraordinary circumstances
  • Past-due utility bills resulting in water or electricity being shut off
  • Extreme household expenses (water heater or A/C breakdowns, burst pipes, etc.)
How does it work?

Requests for loans must be made in person or over the phone with a member of the Human Resources office or with your HR Business Partner. Once a request is made, documentation supporting the loan request and loan amount must be submitted to Human Resources.

  • All eligible requests must be approved by Human Resources and by the employee’s supervisor. Though reasons for loan requests will not be shared with an employee’s supervisor unless requested by the employee.
  • Employees must sign a promissory note in order to receive the loan.
  • Loans are repaid via payroll deductions until the loan is repaid in full (including interest, which is set at the Applicable Federal Rate). Should the employee leave the university before the loan is repaid, the balance of the loan will be deducted from their final paycheck
  • The average loan amount has been $500.
  • The average repayment amount has been $45 per paycheck.

For additional information or questions, please contact hrbp@rice.edu.

Additional Resources for Employees

If at any time you feel you or any member of the Rice community is in danger, please contact RUPD at x6000. Don’t try to handle it on your own – call for help.

Resources and Tips for Well-Being

Supporting Your Well-Being During Challenging Times

The Rice Recreation team has spent time putting together our hearts and minds to come up with resources, digital tools, and video sessions to support the Rice Community during stressful times. We hope that our live fitness classes, meditation sessions, and the resources found below will help you find ease in your experience, care for yourself, and become a beacon of health and peace for others. Topics have been grouped to make this page easy to navigate.

Also, as a part of our Healthy Rice. Healthy Life. consider one of the short webinars. Click HERE. For additional Well-Being Contacts click HERE.

Working From Home

Remote Working



See the FULL LIST of resources for Working From Home.

Staying Active

Visit the Rice Rec Center!

We hope you have been enjoying LIVE S.W.E.A.T. and Mind & Body classes on ZOOM platform! We’ve modified the classes you love below to require little or no gym equipment and this week we’ve added Zumba on Wednesday at 5 pm. Please check out the S.W.E.A.T. class website and be on the getfit mail list to receive future updates.

See the FULL LIST of resources for Staying Active at Home.

Stress Relief and Mindfulness


See the FULL LIST of resources for Stress Relief and Mindfulness.

Recovery and Rejuvenation

What Self-Care is and What it Isn't

12 Ways to Take Better Care of Yourself

wellness wheel

See the FULL LIST of resources for Recovery & Rejuvenation.

Wellness Programming

Rice University’s vision for employee well-being is that we model a visibly healthy culture that promotes and facilitates well-being as an integral part of the institution’s identity and value proposition.

Rice’s mission is to foster a healthy and supportive environment and provide access to convenient and high-quality programs and services, aimed to enable faculty, staff, and their families to pursue physical, social, and emotional well-being to inspire people to participate.

Rice Wellbeing Office

Workshops and Webinars for Staff and Faculty

Seasonal Flu Shots

Health Fitness provides on-campus seasonal flu shots to all benefits-eligible faculty and staff in the Fall. For dates/times and additional information, please visit our Benefits page.

Weight Watchers

Rice will subsidize half of the cost of in-person meetings for benefits-eligible faculty and staff for either the online Weight Watchers Program, or local community meetings (at this time, we no longer have enough participation to hold meetings on campus). The program is now on a month-to-month basis.

To enroll, visit http://wellness.weightwatchers.com and use the following employer ID and password under the "New Registration" box:

  • Company ID = 28327
  • Company Passcode = fyPMoVnL

Once you log in, you will enter your information exactly as it is listed with Rice (specifically, your name, birth date, and "Unique Id which is your person number in iO). To locate your person number in iO, go to "me", then "employment info", and the person number is located in the bottom right of the assignment box.

For instructions on how to use the Weight Watchers portal, please call the Weight Watchers helpdesk at 1-866-204-2885 or at wellnesshelp@weightwatchers.com

The cost of the program is $39.95 per month (or $19.97 per month with the 50% subsidy).

You may enter the program at any time (at a prorated cost) — simply go to the portal above or one of the scheduled meetings for more information.


Other Healthy Links

  • Aetna’s GlobalFit: Aetna members receive discounts on membership at participating, independent health clubs.
  • Aetna Natural Products Information: Aetna members can order health-related products through Vitamin Advantage or Natural Products.
  • Rice University’s Recreation Center: check out the Fitness Programs and Specialty Events (popular among faculty and staff)!
  • Want to get walking? You have several options on our beautiful campus, walk the inner loop which is one mile or the outer loop which is about three miles!
  • Join the American Heart Association’s (AHA) Start! program. Start! is the AHA’s National Movement to get Americans walking all year round, whether at home, at work or somewhere in between. Their focus is simple: Walk more. Eat well. Live longer. Sign up for the free MyStart!Online page to Start! your journey today!