From the desk of President Leslie K. Guice
Wrapping up Week 4
This week was focused on planning, re-organization, and special initiatives in getting ready for the Fall Quarter. Our VPs, Deans, Directors and others are doing a great job of reviewing our organizational structures and processes to enable us to be more productive and efficient. The culture of the campus is one that embraces change whenever it is needed to make us a better institution. It is that flexibility and nimbleness that has enabled Tech to become a nationally prominent entrepreneurial research university. I am very proud of our administrators, faculty, and staff for their forward-looking actions. There are several significant funding initiatives with external partners that are in the planning phases. All of these activities can potentially produce significant opportunities for the university and are important for me to support. VP for R&D Stan Napper and Enterprise Center Director Davy Norris are doing a lot of the heavy lifting on these initiatives. I will share more on these in the future. Congratulations go to our Counseling and Psychology faculty for achieving CACREP accreditation for the Clinical Mental Health and School Counseling masters programs. This was the initial effort to pursue accreditation and the fact that they achieved the maximum accreditation period after the first visit is a great tribute to the planning and hard work of our faculty and administrators. Kudos to Donna Thomas, Ida Chauvin, Latoya Pierce, Ernie Cowger, all of the other P&BS faculty and staff, and VP for Academic Affairs Terry McConathy. I enjoyed meeting with Allison East, our SGA President, to discuss her plans for the year and how we might work together. I worked closely with Allison last year and have been impressed with her drive and leadership skills. Allison will represent the student body on my Administrative and Planning Council along with VPs and Deans and the AD. Allison is also helping me organize a President’s Council of Student Leaders that will facilitate communications between me and student leaders across campus. I also met with Sandy Johnson, Chair of the Engineering and Science Foundation, who was in town for another meeting. Sandy and the Foundation, under the leadership of Dr. Napper, have done an outstanding job of developing plans and raising $5M in a campaign for a new Integrated Engineering and Science Education Building. This building is crucial for supporting the increasing numbers of students and will provide the facilities required for the innovative, team-based, projects-based engineering and science curricula that has earned Louisiana Tech recognition and accolades. Last Friday, Hunt, Guillot and Associates of Ruston made a most generous contribution of $200k for the campaign in recognition of former mechanical engineering faculty member Jack Canterbury (http://news.latech.edu/2013/07/22/louisiana-tech-receives-gift-from-hunt-guillot-and-associates-canterbury-family/). There are still opportunities for participation in the building campaign. You can see more details of the campaign and building plans at http://coes.latech.edu/building/index.php. A significant disruption occurred this week when an electrical fire occurred in a basement closet of Keeney Hall. There was a lot of smoke damage, but fortunately, everyone was safe because of rapid evacuation, and all records were preserved. Essential services continued in back-up facilities. Athletics Director Tommy McClelland stopped through Ruston and Shreveport for visits this week. This really helped to ensure a smooth transition. I continue to be very impressed with Tommy’s energy, wisdom, and style. I was able to encroach upon his Friday luncheon at Superior Steakhouse with Tim Brando, Shreveport media, representatives of the I-Bowl, and Tech media relations staff. I also took a few minutes this week to begin decorating the bookshelves in my office. Thanks to Adam McGuirt for helping me out with some athletics gear! I think Kathy may make me take out some of the gear, but until she stops by the office….. Finally, it was a thrill for me to have Christopher stop by for a visit. I took time to tell him a story about the bulldog.