Rice says his background will helpRice began his academic career in 1979 as a full-time faculty member at Rogers State, which was then known as Rogers State College. He also was director of the applied science division there and associate director of academics for the Pryor campus. Rice said both his political and academic backgrounds will serve him well as president. "It's all of our jobs to encourage the legislature to continue funding education,” he said. Rice earned his doctorate in education from Oklahoma State University and master's and bachelor's degrees from Northeastern State University. Rice said he will live on campus with his wife Peggy. They have two adult children. Wiley has led Rogers State since January 1999. The following year, it became a four-year university and enrollment has grown 65 percent. Rogers State offers bachelor's and associate's degrees in such areas as applied technology, biology, business administration, business information, justice administration, liberal arts and nursing.