The 1980s


Professor George Marcus becomes chair of the Anthropology Department and serves for 25 years. Marcus is the longest serving chair in the Social Sciences.


A new Ph.D. program in Anthropology is founded to replace a previous program in Behavioral Sciences. Specializations include social/cultural anthropology, biological anthropology and archaeology.


Policy Studies established as a 2nd Major.

The Rice chapter of Omicron Delta Epsilon, the International Honor Society for Economics, is installed.

The Thomas Cooke & Mary Elizabeth Edwards Chair in American Government & Democracy is established. In 2005, Professor Keith Hamm becomes the first chair holder.


Professor Stephen Klineberg conducts the first Kinder Houston Area Survey as an undergraduate class assignments on a budget of $3,000. The survey is the nation's longest running study for a single metropolitan area's changing demographics and public attitudes.

The first Ph.D. in Anthropology is awarded to Deborah Harvey Delgado.


Professor Herve Moulin is elected as a fellow in the Econometric Society.

The Department of Anthropology establishes the Rice Circle. The Rice Circle offers participants from Anthropology, History, Sociology, modern languages, Philosophy and other departments the opportunity to discuss such topics as theories of aesthetics, postmodernism in literature, ethnography in anthropology and critical discourse in literary theory.


Professor William C. Howell is elected president of the divisions of Experimental Psychology and Engineering Psychology of the American Psychological Association.

Major in Mathematical Economics Analysis established.


Professor William Martin receives one of the first George R. Brown Certificates of Highest Merit Award. The award is given to professors only once in their careers at Rice. Other university teaching awards he has received: George R. Brown Award for Excellence in Teaching 1975, 1982; George R. Brown Award for Superior Teaching 1974, 1976, 1977, 1984; Nicolas Salgo Distinguished Teacher award 1971, 1993.

Professor George Marcus founds the journal "Cultural Anthropology", currently the journal with the highest impact factor in anthropology.

Professor George Marcus and Professor Michael Fischer publish "Anthropology as Cultural Critique: An Experimental Moment in the Social Sciences". In the same year, Marcus co-edits with James Clifford of the University of California at Santa Cruz the collection "Writing Culture: The Poetics and Politics of Ethnography". Together, the two volumes galvanize a discipline-wide discussion of the modes and ends of anthropological inquiry and bring Rice into the limelight as among the most distinguished small programs nationally and internationally.


The Center for Cultural Studies is established with Professor Michael Fischer as its first director. The center later becomes the Humanities Research Center.

Professor Robert Stein receives the George R. Brown Award for Superior Teaching. He receives it again in 1998.


Professor James Pomerantz is appointed as dean of social sciences and the Elma W. Schneider Professor of Psychology.

Professor Earl Black receives a Ralph J. Bunch Award from the American Political Science Association and a V.O. Key Book Award from the Southern Political Science Association for his book with co-author Merle Black, "Politics and Society in the South."


Professor Sarah Burnett becomes the first dean of students since 1974. At the time, Burnett is only one of two women deans at Rice. She remains in the position until 1996.

Cognitive Sciences program created.