From the desk of President Leslie K. Guice
A Week of Master Planning
The campus master planning team arrived on campus on Monday. Sasaki Associates of Boston is leading the effort and is joined by Ken Tipton of Tipton Associates of Baton Rouge and Doug Ashe of Ashe, Broussard & Weinzettle Architects of Alexandria. The team brings considerable international expertise in planning as well as local history and knowledge of the campus and community. The team met with different colleges and administrative units on campus as well as other stakeholders to gain better insights into plans and needs of the university. As part of the final report, we will receive assessments of existing facilities and infrastructure as well as guidance and a framework for future campus development. I had the opportunity to speak to the Northeast Louisiana Board of Realtors on Tuesday about the role of Louisiana Tech in driving economic development in the region. I appreciate the invitation to speak by Deanna Norman (mother of recent Tech alumnus Brittany) who included me in her inaugural meeting as President. Several public leaders were in attendance and I appreciate the opportunity to communicate to the public about the importance of our universities for long-term economic prosperity. On Wednesday, I attended the Board of Regents meeting in Baton Rouge and made a presentation on the work of the Board’s Master Plan Research Advisory Committee (which I Chair.) Working in collaboration with the Louisiana Office of Economic Development (LED) and the Louisiana Innovation Council, the Committee seeks to advance research, innovation, and economic development in the State. The Board of Regents also approved our plans to move forward with the Athletics & Student Complex in the South end zone of Joe Aillet Stadium. This brings us another step closer to our goal, but there’s still much to be done and we need the continued support of the Bulldog Family (http://www.latechsports.com/questforexcellence.) I attended the Committee of 100 of Shreveport meeting on Thursday to hear my colleague Dr. King Alexander, President and Chancellor of LSU, speak about his plans for meeting educational needs across the state. He talked about some of the significant challenges and changes occurring in higher education nationally as well as at LSU. It was good to visit with the Shreveport community leaders, many of whom are Tech alumni, in attendance at the meeting. On Friday, I returned to Baton Rouge to attend the University of Louisiana System Board meeting. The Board also approved our plans for the Athletics & Student Complex. This clears the way for us to finalize plans, financing, and construction of the facilities. Tech alumnus and staunch supporter, Wayne Parker, completed his second term as Chair of the ULS Board and received strong accolades for his leadership. Wayne served admirably as Chair through some of the ULS’s most difficult challenges and during the searches for eight of its Presidents. Thank you, Wayne. Finally, I thank Mead Elementary School teacher Lorena Sandoval for promoting Louisiana Tech University with her San Antonio class as a way to encourage her students to pursue higher education with a passion. She is clearly making a difference in their lives!