From the desk of President Leslie K. Guice
Independence Week Updates
This has been another week packed with budget and planning meetings, closing out last fiscal year and planning ahead for the new year. Our Chief Financial Officer, Lisa Cole, who recently took over for long-time VP and CFO Joe Thomas following his retirement, is doing an outstanding job in managing the many financial tasks that must take place during this time. Joe and former budget officer Jerry Drewett are working part-time in the background to help out. Tech is also blessed to have many other strong and cooperative administrators who work together to get us through these challenging times while continuing to make significant advancements across the institution. While we are most grateful for the state’s support for higher education during the last legislative session, we still have some significant work to do to get us where we need to be. One thing is certain, we are not sitting back and waiting on others to get us there. We have developed our plans around strong and steady growth of our student body, and we are seeing some significant progress in achieving that goal as our orientation sessions have been maxed out for every session throughout the summer. These are great students that make me even more optimistic for the future.On Tuesday, Ryan Richard and I made some visits across North Louisiana with alumni and friends. Alumnus James Madden and his son David have been major partners with us in developing some new business opportunities around some catalyst technologies developed by our faculty and students. I was glad to get some positive reports from them on the progress of our project as we visited with them in Minden. We also met with a small group of long-time Tech supporters and alumni in Shreveport to discuss our plans for the future. It was great to get positive and constructive feedback from these loyal and trusted friends. Ryan and I were also pleased to stop by and visit with Shreveport Mayor Cedric Glover to thank him for his support and cooperation with Louisiana Tech. While in his office, we were able to meet with his interns, including Tech journalism student Wynnifred Sanders. I have enjoyed working with Wynni over the past year in her roles as a student leader on campus and am pleased to see her get the great experience as an intern under Mayor Glover. On Wednesday, Dr. Davy Norris and I visited with Ed Ortelli, President of KNOE-TV/KAQY-TV/MonroeCW. It was great to get a tour of their studios and meet many of their staff including News Director Bob Walters and General Sales Manager Mark Renner. I returned back to Ruston to have meetings with Cyber Innovation Center Executive Director Craig Spohn, G.B. Cazes, and VP for R&D Stan Napper. Craig has been one of our strongest partners over the past eight years and we have worked together on a multitude of research, education and economic development projects. These projects have been very impactful across the region, state and nation, and we are planning other projects and activities that strengthen our partnership and potential impacts of our combined efforts. As we close out this week, Kathy and I are planning to take a couple of days to get away and relax. We want to express our appreciation to all of you who have been so supportive of us during our first year of leading this great institution. We have been blessed. I hope you all have a happy 4th of July holiday and join us in celebrating Independence Day and the wonderful opportunities we have for freedom that has been afforded us in this great country. On this Friday, let’s all be Loyal Red, White and Blue!