From the desk of President Leslie K. Guice
In the Office and On the Road Again
I was glad to have a few days in the office this week after having been on the road quite a bit recently. I tend to work a lot by e-mail, so even though I am out of the office, I can stay in touch with what is going on and am able to respond to things when needed. Early in the week, I had several meetings with my vice presidents and other senior administrators. VP McConathy and I had a list of personnel issues to discuss including a number of faculty and staff positions that we are considering filling for next year. That is always a challenge as we do not know what our budgets will be until July, but decisions for hiring have to be made by the spring (or before) in order to get the best candidates. We are also in the midst of searching for a Dean for the College of Engineering and Science, and will be conducting finalist interviews over the next two to three weeks. Dr. McConathy and I also met with others to begin to develop our marketing and recruiting strategies for the large numbers of computer/IT-related students and graduates that we will need to meet the requirements of Computer Sciences Corporation, CenturyLink, IBM and other companies that are growing major Technology Centers in the state. VP Jim King and I met with his senior staff to discuss all of the things that they are doing to support student recruitment, retention, and success. I am very pleased with the tremendous teamwork and passion that these staff members demonstrate with their programs, and I am convinced that this will lead to continued student success and continued performance improvements for the University. VP Corre Stegall and I met to discuss our fund-raising plans and the many events that are being organized throughout the Spring. We will be having many alumni meetings throughout the region, and that requires a lot of planning and coordination. I look forward to getting out to reconnect with alumni. Corre is also leading the team that is planning for the Presidential Investiture scheduled for April 8th. VP Stan Napper and I met to discuss a number of major initiatives that we are pursuing. Stan is doing a great job in building the capacity of our faculty to pursue major grants and also building our partnerships with other institutions, government agencies, and private sector partners that can lead to major opportunities for Louisiana Tech. We had the Sasaki Master Planning team on campus this week to present some of their preliminary results based upon their extensive analysis of our facilities and interviews with a lot of faculty, staff, administrators, community members, and alumni. I am very pleased that they are taking a look at some big but achievable things that can greatly enhance the character of our campus over the long term. The Sasaki team made several presentations and received a lot of feedback. We will continue to work with them over the next few months as they finalize their plans. I really appreciate the work of Assistant VP Sam Wallace who has done a masterful job of keeping this project in scope and on schedule. On Tuesday, I had the opportunity to speak with the Ruston Lions Club. I have been making it a priority to get out to speak across the region about the importance of Louisiana Tech as a driver for education and innovation for North Louisiana. On Thursday, Kathy and I headed out to El Paso for the Conference USA tournament. We have been visiting with AD Tommy McClelland, other athletics staff, and quite a few alumni who made the trip to support the team. We were sorry that the Lady Techsters lost last night to end their season, but are proud of the tremendous efforts they made during the tournament. The Dunkin’ Dogs got a big win over Charlotte last night and that puts them in a semi-final match-up with long-time foe Southern Mississippi later today. We will be there rooting them on!