From the desk of President Leslie K. Guice
Week 17 Update: Boards, Boring, and Not so Bored
I had to spend much of this week in Baton Rouge at the University of Louisiana System Board and the Board of Regents meetings. Tech only had a few items for consideration on the agendas. The Center for Entrepreneurship and Information Technology (CEnIT) was up for its 5-year renewal and was easily approved by both boards. Dr. Davy Norris, CEnIT Director, made an excellent presentation to the Board demonstrating the center’s success and impacts in advancing innovation and an entrepreneurial culture on campus and in the region. Another big topic for discussion at the meetings was the higher education budget, including the distribution formula and capital outlay priorities. There was some sense of optimism that higher education funding could stabilize and potentially increase as state revenues are showing more positive trends. That is certainly crucial for us, and we will be watching that closely. We had several visitors on campus this week. The Trenchless Technology Center (TTC) Industry Advisory Board met for 3 days. This group of approximately 30 industry and government representatives from across the country (NY to CA) meets annually at Tech to discuss needs of the industry and to hear reports of research and innovations emerging from the Center. The fact that this board has continued to meet on campus for the past 24 years is a strong indication of the value that the TTC provides to the industry and nation. Our students also benefit through all of the internships and job opportunities. Congratulations to the TTC Director, Dr. Erez Allouche, and all of the other TTC-related faculty, staff and students for the continued success. Trenchless technologies include a wide range of processes for installing, rehabilitating, inspecting, and repairing underground utility systems (eg, boring systems). The costs associated with maintaining the many pipelines, sewers, water lines, and other utility systems are enormous and have significant impacts on the nation’s economy. On Friday, approximately 100 students from North Dallas High School showed up for a full day on campus. This inner city school has undergone significant transformations in recent years as the new principal has implemented an academy model throughout the high school. These academies, developed through the National Academy Foundation (http://naf.org/), are focused on (1) IT, (2) Finance, and (3) Engineering/STEM. With the guidance of a strong advisory board, including Tech alumnus Pete Ball, the programs are proving to be highly successful. NDHS is now “on standard” in all aspects for the first time in 10 years. These students certainly showed no signs of being bored! I am now headed out for the Conference USA Board meeting in Dallas for the week-end. But I could not let this week pass without sharing one of my favorite pictures from Homecoming. A special thanks to alumni Jeremy and Kimberly Mire McDaniel for their unconditional loyalty to Louisiana Tech and for making sure that their son and daughter help carry on the traditions!