From the desk of President Leslie K. Guice
Kickoff Week for the 2014-15 Academic Year
On Monday, (Labor Day) I had a special treat to kick off the week at the Dawg House in Ruston with an interview on the Inside Bulldog Football live radio show with Dave Nitz. I enjoyed hearing Coach Skip Holtz and new Associate AD Marco Born do a couple of segments with Dave before he interviewed me. There was a good turnout of Tech fans and, of course, the food was superb. Dave Nitz joined Tech a couple of years after I came to Tech as a student and I have heard hundreds of his game broadcasts. There is no one better in this business than Dave Nitz and we are most fortunate to have him filling this important role for Tech Athletics. Tuesday was the big day for Tech as we kicked off the Fall Quarter beginning with the Faculty & Staff Convocation in Howard Auditorium. We opened the session by recognizing two distinguished faculty members, Dr. Jeremy Mhire with the Virgil Orr Junior Faculty Award and Dr. Yuri Lvov with the University Senate Chair Award. These are truly two outstanding faculty members who are as good as you will find anywhere across the nation. I also gave my “State of the University” address highlighting many of the accomplishments of our faculty and staff in academics, research & innovation, and athletics. I also highlighted some new projects and activities in areas of facilities, advancement and communications. I gave the faculty and staff updates on our funding and our budget plans for the upcoming year, and also shared my views about what it means for Tech to achieve our goal of 15,000 students. Following my presentation, University Senate Chair Mike Swanbom and I introduced all of the new faculty and staff and those who had assumed new positions. On Wednesday, we had a visit from ULS President Sandy Woodley who was on campus to review our strategic plan and interact with our leadership team. We also invited her to be the keynote speaker for our freshman Academic Convocation. This convocation is one of the most special events of the year, where our freshmen come together in Howard Auditorium to get a Tech Welcome. They also heard some words of inspiration from our SGA President, Maggie Brakeville, and our Alumnus of the Year, Steve Davison. They heard about the Tenets of Tech and received their Tenet Medallions followed by a ceremonial depositing of their medallions in the Lady of the Mist. Many of our alumni were there to participate and it was great to see all of them enthusiastically welcoming these students to campus. On Thursday, I had a few meetings with faculty and staff and then followed that with a good meeting with the Executive Committee of the Louisiana Tech University Foundation. I also took some time to walk around campus and visit with some of the students. The opportunity to spend a few minutes with these students was certainly a highlight of the week for me. I was so impressed with them and their enthusiasm for being on the Tech campus. This is going to be a special class. I took some more time on Friday to continue walking around campus to see how things were going for our students. I also visited with a few faculty and staff who happened to be in the area and were doing their part to welcome our newest and returning members of the Tech Family. I could not have asked for a better week to kick off this new year!