Rice University and the Baylor College of Medicine, which at one time considered merging, have signed an agreement to facilitate research and teaching collaborations.
The two Houston-based private schools discussed a merger in 2009, but ultimately decided against combining ownership. The new agreement aims to make it easier for faculty, staff and students to work together, building upon previous accords, the schools said.
Rice and Baylor agreed to encourage joint faculty appointments at both schools to facilitate research and educational programs that can be used by both schools.
More than 40 Rice and Baylor faculty members already have joint adjunct appointments.
The deal also allows the schools' students to enroll in graduate credit courses at either institution and establishes a cooperative program for shared use of certain research labs and service centers at both schools.
The latest agreement builds on several collaborations between the two schools, including a five-year combined MBA/M.D. program involving Rice's Jones Graduate School of Business. Rice also participates in Baylor's M.D./Ph.D. Medical Scientist Training Program, which includes the option of a Ph.D. in bioengineering from Rice or other Ph.D. programs at Baylor.
The Baylor College of Medicine has academic agreements with several other Texas schools, including Baylor University, University of Houston, Texas A&M University, University of Texas-Pan American and University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston.
Moving forward, Rice hopes to strengthen its relationship with the Houston-based Texas Medical Center, said Dan Carson, Rice's vice provost for strategic partnerships. The university already has academic agreements with University of Texas Health system and University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.