A Ray of Hope
On Monday, I attended a Conference USA Board meeting in Dallas and enjoyed interacting with other Presidents and conference staff. I also enjoyed spending some time with NCAA President Mark Emmert who was there to discuss national issues and get feedback from our Presidents. He and I first got to know each other when he was Chancellor at LSU and I was Vice President for Research at Tech.
Much of the rest of my week was in the office meeting with administrators, staff and students while keeping my eyes on the legislative session in Baton Rouge. I was most pleased that this session brought a positive focus on higher education funding including full funding of the TOPS program. I appreciate our state leaders in recognizing the commitments that have been made to our students about TOPS funding. Such funding is more important than ever in making higher education affordable and accessible for many students. The legislature avoided further cuts to higher education and restored some funding that had been cut last year. We are still waiting to hear the specific impacts on our university, but are so pleased that there seems to be a greater appreciation about the importance of higher education to the future of our state. Hopefully, that will lead to a reinvestment in higher education in the future. I am also pleased that our Engineering and Science Education building was included in the Capital Outlay bill and we hope that we will soon get that project released to bid and begin construction. Special thanks to our representatives, senators and Governor!
I went to Bossier City on Thursday to discuss our partnership with senior leadership of CSRA. While there, I had the opportunity to tour the Integrated Technology Center and chat with some of our graduates who are now working there. I expect those job opportunities to continue to grow in the future as suggested in this national publication released on Thursday that referenced our program and the CSRA partnership.
Here are a few of my favorite pics for the week: