President Rice began his academic career in 1979 as a full-time faculty member at RSU, which was then known as Rogers State College, where he taught classes in criminal justice, psychology and sociology.
He was Director of the Applied Science Division from 1979 to 1986 and Associate Director of Academics for the Pryor campus from 1986 to 1991.
He received a doctoral degree in education from Oklahoma State University, and master’s and bachelor’s degrees from Northeastern State University. He wrote his doctoral dissertation on “Eighty Years of University Preparatory Education on College Hill,” a history of the institution presently known as RSU.
Before he was named as president of RSU, he served as Executive Assistant to the President at the University of Tulsa. At TU, Rice was chief of staff for the president with responsibilities for government relations and the Presidential Scholars Program for high-achieving students. He joined TU in 1991 as a member of the advancement staff and served as interim vice president for advancement from 1997-1998 and director of public affairs from 1991 to 2004.
He served the citizens of Oklahoma as a state representative in House District 8 from 1986 to 2004.