Christmas Office Invasion
I was able to be in the office most of this week and I enjoyed having a number of visitors come by. The highlight for me was our traditional visit from Mr. Randall Boyd and the AE Phillips Choir. This year, the choir was larger than ever. We invited them to come into my conference room to sing Christmas carols to our 16th floor staff, and they put on a great performance. Before they left, I invited them to come into my office. And they had a blast. A couple of them even tried out sitting at the President’s desk. Who knows?
Several students and prospective students came by my office for a visit this week. I enjoy getting to know them, learning about their activities and interests, and telling them a little about the Tech story.
I also enjoyed a visit from Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser who stopped in for a visit before going to speak with our Student Government Association. Ben Rice, SGA President and ULS Board member, has done an excellent job of bringing a variety of speakers in to answer questions from our student body. Dr. Craig McClain, Director of the Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium (LUMCON) also came to Ruston this week to meet with me and our faculty and to discuss research and educational programs at LUMCON.
New McNeese State University president Daryl Burckel also came up for a visit and tour. I have enjoyed working with him over the past few months as we have explored how to meet our system and institutional goals for growth in enrollments and graduates. Dr. Burckel has some excellent partnership opportunities with all of the industrial growth in the Lake Charles area.
Leadership Lincoln, a group of young business professionals, came to my conference room for an overview presentation about Tech’s aggressive growth and partnership activities and impacts. After visiting with me, they went to Tech Pointe to see first hand all of the companies that are working on our campus and employing our students and graduates in high-quality technology jobs.
I also met with high school guidance counselors from across the region to talk about the programs and opportunities that Tech has to offer. It is so important that we continue to engage high school counselors and teachers in our activities to better understand what academic and career opportunities are available right here in North Louisiana.
Bill Bucklew also detoured his “walking across America to raise awareness and support for research for Parkinson’s disease tour” through the Tech campus this week, thanks to an invitation by our nursing faculty member Tara Haskins. Tara has been working with our own “Rock Steady Boxing” group on campus to provide support for those in our community who are fighting Parkinson’s disease. It was wonderful to see our faculty and staff make that connection with Bill.
I ended the week with a short drive to ULM to hear Commissioner of Higher Education Joe Rallo provide an update on higher education to community, university and political leaders. Dr. Rallo then drove over to Ruston to have a meeting with our faculty and staff. I appreciate his efforts to reach out in our communities and help us all understand the opportunities and challenges ahead.
Here are a few of my favorite pics for the week: