From the desk of President Leslie K. Guice
Mardi Gras Week and Quarter Break
Mardi Gras fell during quarter break this year. I know that all of our students missed getting the two “free” days during the quarter that have historically been provided for celebration of Mardi Gras. Nevertheless, the longer than normal quarter break should give our students plenty of time to get refreshed before heading back to hit the always-busy spring quarter.I had hoped to be able to take Monday and Tuesday to go to Florida with Kathy to visit with Bret and Christy and Christopher, but circumstances kept me in Ruston. Kathy had a great visit with them while getting some extra loving from Christopher. We are looking forward to having them all visit Ruston this spring. On Monday, Dr. Terry McConathy and I did an interview with external reviewers for the Board of Regents Eminent Scholar Chair program. This program provides matching funds for private gifts to establish an endowment for supporting an eminent scholar chair named in honor of the donor. The matching funds are provided on a competitive basis, so we have to make a strong case for the matching funds. We hope to get positive news on our request for this eminent scholar chair match. I am very grateful to those alumni and friends who have contributed to previous chair and professorship endowments. These endowments have made a huge difference in our ability to attract and retain excellent faculty. On Wednesday, I had members of our local legislative delegation on campus to discuss various issues that will impact Louisiana Tech during the upcoming legislative session. It is always good to get the delegation on campus so we can show them more about what Tech is doing to serve the State of Louisiana. I really appreciate the positive and encouraging support that we have from our delegation, and I believe that the opportunities for higher education to get on a stronger footing during this session are good. On Thursday, I made the trip to Baton Rouge for meetings related to two committees that I chair, the Louisiana EPSCoR Committee and the Louisiana Innovation Council (LIC). I was formally introduced as LIC Chair by Secretary Stephen Moret on Thursday. Both of these committees/councils have been working on common issues for advancing the state’s economic development including activities related to workforce, research, innovation, and university-industry partnerships. I spent Friday in Shreveport and Bossier City meeting with our colleagues at the Cyber Innovation Center (CIC) and the Shreveport/Bossier Business Alliance (SBBA). SBBA hosted a forum of education, business and community leaders to discuss the future of higher education in Northwest Louisiana. We are continuing to work with CIC on numerous opportunities to advance our academic, research, and economic development partnerships. The recent announcement of the establishment of the CSC Technology Center in Bossier City with 800 jobs is one example of the success of our partnership with CIC. We are optimistic that there are more positive things that can happen as we continue to work closely with the CIC in the future. Congratulations to Coach Mike White and the Dunkin’ Dogs for capping off a great season with a Conference USA regular season championship. This is the second regular season championship in a row for the Bulldogs as they closed out our association with the WAC with a championship last year. We are very proud of the way that this team represents the University and wish them the very best in the Conference USA tournament this coming week. The Bulldogs and Lady Techsters will both have a challenging series of games this week, but know that they are prepared for the tasks ahead.