From the desk of President Leslie K. Guice

Tipping Off in 2014

Jan 11, 2014 | Weekly Update

It was good to get back in the office this week. I had a number of planning meetings with our staff, including each of my Vice Presidents.  VP Corre Stegall provided updates on our fundraising activities including all of the year-end gifts that were received over the holidays.  We are blessed to have so many generous alumni and friends, and I thank everyone for keeping Louisiana Tech as a priority in giving.  Corre and I also discussed current fund-raising initiatives and plans to meet with alumni throughout the coming months. Our next alumni event is January 21 at the Diamond Grill in downtown Alexandria. VP Joe Thomas and I met to discuss various capital projects as well as transition plans.  Joe will be retiring this month but will return part-time to help with several projects. I am most grateful to Joe for the tremendous work that he has done for Tech over the past 41 years. We will be having a retirement reception for him on January 22 at 10:00 AM in University Hall. VP Jim King and I discussed several initiatives related to student affairs, particularly related to our efforts to build more robust information systems to help us in recruiting and planning. VP Terry McConathy and I met to get updates on faculty and academic initiatives.  We are having to make plans for Spring classes and are in the midst of faculty recruiting.  It is a special challenge to plan for recruiting in uncertain budget times.  VP Stan Napper and I met to discuss several research and development initiatives that are underway. Stan is leading a number of major initiatives that promise to expand our research and economic development impacts. We are optimistic that some of these initiatives will materialize soon. There were a variety of other meetings with students, government representatives, a community service organization, industry representatives, alumni, a visitor from Barksdale, a regional economic development entity, and more. I also had quite a few interactions with higher ed and economic development colleagues in Baton Rouge. The range of activities in which the President’s office must be involved is very broad. I was very pleased that our Master Planner, Sasaki in Boston, brought a special team to Tech this week to meet with our athletics staff. They visited for a couple of days and had productive meetings.  This master planning effort will enable us to make better decisions about facilities with more strategic impacts. Business Analytics DayOn Friday, I attended the College of Business Analytics Day at Tech’s Shreveport Center. This was an outstanding event with high quality speakers presenting material on the topics of big data and data analytics, a subject that is of major importance to every sector of our society. I was not able to stay for the whole day, but I did hear the opening speaker Bill Franks, Chief Analytics Officer for Teradata, and author of the best-selling book “Taming the Big Data Tidal Wave: Finding Opportunities in Huge Data Streams with Advanced Analytics.” I believe this book is well worth the read. There were other excellent speakers including Pulitzer Prize nominated Alan Swartz of the New York Times.  Congratulations to Dr. James Cochran and Dr. Tim Bisping for their great efforts to organize this conference.  Stay tuned for the next annual Business Analytics Day.