From the desk of President Leslie K. Guice
A week for athletics and economic development
This week began with a trip to Dallas to meet with the Conference USA Board and staff. The Board meets a couple of times a year in person but has more frequent conference calls. I continue to be impressed with the leadership of our Commissioner, Britton Banowsky. He represents our conference well at the national level and provides excellent guidance as the presidents navigate through a myriad of issues that are impacting intercollegiate athletes. Certainly, these are some of the most dynamic times that we have seen in athletics, and it is clear that things will continue to change significantly over the next few years. NCAA President, Mark Emmert, joined Conference USA presidents for the Board meeting. On Wednesday, I met with a major technology company prospect in New Orleans. This company is considering locating operations in Louisiana and would look to higher education for meeting their workforce needs. Our higher education representatives were invited to the meeting by Louisiana Economic Development (LED), and I believe that we had compelling presentations about our capabilities to meet the company’s needs. The cooperation between LED and higher education has been excellent and has resulted in a number of major economic development “wins” for Louisiana recently. On Friday, we had a meeting of the Louisiana Tech Research Foundation Board that oversees the management of the university’s research and intellectual property, particularly as related to corporate partnerships and activities of our Enterprise Campus. The Research Foundation is an entity within the University Foundation. The rest of the week was filled with various staff planning and budgeting meetings. It was a fairly quiet but productive week. I look forward to dinner tonight with senior leadership at Barksdale Air Force Base.