From the desk of President Leslie K. Guice

Transitioning to the Presidency (Part 2)

Jul 2, 2013 | Reflection

I am grateful to Dr. Reneau and the ULS Board for planning a 6-month transition period for the new president.  It would be quite a challenge for someone to come in with little or no time to understand the organization and budget, develop plans, and establish relationships that are essential for advancing the institution.  While I have been at Louisiana Tech for some time, the presidency offers a different perspective on the campus, and obviously, a significantly different set of challenges, responsibilities and constituencies. The transition period has helped me to get into full stride from day 1.

During this transition, we have been able to fill some important administrative staff positions on the 16th floor that were vacated because of retirements over the past year.  It is impossible to replace the wealth of experience of people like Susan Rasbury and Sharon Alford, who were President Reneau’s administrative staff, and Margaret Alexander, who was Vice President Ken Rea’s administrative staff.  But our new administrative team of Carrie Flournoy, Dora Craighead and Kim Barlow are most talented, knowledgeable and are already being very productive.  I am most grateful to my long-time administrative assistant, Martha Stevens, who will continue to provide key support for me and others on the 16th floor. Dr. Stan Napper, former dean of the College of Engineering and Science, was selected to replace me as Vice President for Research and Development.  Stan and I have worked together for many years and I am very confident that he will take our research enterprise to new heights.  He has already hit the ground running and is working on several major initiatives.  Another great addition to the 16th floor is Dr. Sheryl Shoemaker, former department head of Speech, who will be serving as the interim dean of the Graduate School and coordinator of our SACS accreditation team. Over the next couple of months, we will do some additional reorganization that will align with our Tech 2020 strategic planning efforts.  Our Tech 2020 Leadership Team is meeting regularly to lay out our strategic priorities for this year. The three Top 25 national rankings that Tech received in June reinforced that Tech is one of the best in the nation at bringing great value and a significant return on investment to our students.  We are glad that the nation recognizes that.  Most of all, we are indebted to our faculty and staff who are so passionate about and committed to providing our students with an unparalleled education.  I am confident that Tech 2020 will serve as a guide for even greater value and more national recognition for Louisiana Tech in the future. Our team is in place and moving ahead.  Stay tuned.