Scope and Contents
The papers of Rice University's sixth president, Malcolm Gillis, reflect the daily business of the the president's office during the years 1993-2004, and include correspondence, memos, notes, drafts, memos related to on and off campus departments and groups. Photocopies of Gillis' outgoing correspondence in included. Subjects include a comprehensive strategic plan; an extensive fund-raising campaign; development of an extensive building program; biggest expansion of Humanities facilities to date; increased international presence through such programs as the Baker Institute for Public Policy, study abroad and International University Bremen; community relations; analysis of athletics at Rice and much more.
Malcolm Gillis was born Dec. 28, 1940, and earned his Ph.D. from the University of Illinois in 1968. Before entering university leadership, he spent the first 25 years of his professional life teaching economics and applying economic analysis to public policy in almost 20 countries, from the United States and Canada, to Ecuador, Colombia, Ghana and Indonesia. His research and teaching have mainly been in the areas of fiscal economics and environmental policy. His first faculty post was as an assistant professor of economics at Duke University, followed by a 15-year stint at Harvard University. He returned to Duke in 1984 as a professor of economics and public policy, was awarded a distinguished named chair, became Dean of the Graduate School and Vice Provost for Academic Affairs, and then Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Gillis took office as the sixth president of Rice University on July 1, 1993 and was formally inaugurated on October 30, 1993.
During his tenure at Rice, Gillis worked with the Board of Governors to develop the first comprehensive strategic plan, approached the $415 million mark of Rice's first comprehensive fund-raising campaign, and laid the groundwork for the largest building program in Rice history.
According to Board member Bill Barnett, "in addition to the strategic plan, the campaign and the building program, Malcolm guided an unprecedented period of collaboration with other institutions; a deeper and more fruitful involvement in the community; an enormous enhancement of Rice’s international presence through such things as the Baker Institute for Public Policy, study abroad and International University Bremen; a successful effort to maintain diversity under difficult circumstances; a very substantial expansion of the faculty; a foresighted investment in nano, bio, info and enviro science and technology; the biggest expansion of Humanities facilities ever; the first addition to the college system in 30 years; the rise of the Jesse Jones Graduate School of Management; and on and on."
Gillis stepped down in 2004, and resumed his teaching career under the title University Professor, which is the highest faculty designation at the university. He and his wife, Elizabeth, were awarded the Association of Rice Alumni's Gold Medal, the association's highest honor, in 2004.
Professor Gillis died in October 2015. He is survived by his wife, three children and several grandchildren.