Do not sign for the acceptance of these documents. Instead, direct the individual to the Office of the General Counsel at 360 Allen Center. Immediately notify the Office of the General Counsel at ext. 5237 that you have directed a person who will be serving Rice with legal documents.
You may sometimes receive a summons or subpoena by mail or fax, or you may mistakenly accept one from a process server. If so, please contact the Office of the General Counsel immediately. Please be aware that these documents are time sensitive, and to postpone or delay responding to these documents could seriously impact Rice University with legal consequences. Also, the content of these documents are not to be discussed, except with your immediate supervisor, especially if they are grand jury subpoenas or subpoenas issued in a criminal matter.
If the service is upon Rice University, service of process may be accepted by an attorney in the Office of the General Counsel, provided the service is properly made. However, if the service is for a Rice employee or student on a personal matter (e.g., divorce, car accident lawsuit, etc.), the employee or student must be served personally. When someone is seeking to serve an employee or student on campus on a personal matter, the process server should be referred to RUPD.
You should contact the Office of the General Counsel immediately and prior to responding. Our office will work with you to provide an appropriate response to any such query, including verifying the investigator’s credentials and reviewing the request for information. For some offices that have frequent contact with government investigators (such as the Office of International Students and Scholars), we have worked with that office on proper protocols on responding to governmental queries.
Please note that under FERPA, educational record information about students generally may not be given out without the student’s consent. Do not respond to any request for student records without speaking to the Office of the General Counsel.
You should immediately deliver or fax all legal correspondence to the Office of the General Counsel at 360 Allen Center, Fax: 713-348-5465. If sending via fax, the original document is to be delivered to the Office of the General Counsel at the first opportunity.
Only the Vice President and General Counsel may retain outside counsel for legal services pertaining to Rice University. The Vice President and General Counsel may engage outside counsel in situations where expertise on a particular matter is needed or in complex litigation matters. Outside counsel may also be retained when representation by the Office of the General Counsel presents a conflict and other circumstances make the retention appropriate.
Rice will pay the reasonable legal bills and expenses of outside counsel to represent faculty or staff regarding a Rice matter, if the Vice President and General Counsel determines that such representation is appropriate.
By law, student records are private. The confidentiality of student records is governed by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and Rice policy. You may not respond to any request for student records without first speaking to the Registrar's Office or the Office of the General Counsel. For basic information about FERPA, see https://registrar.rice.edu/students/ferpa.