From the desk of President Leslie K. Guice
Getting the Fall Quarter into full swing
This week began for me with a visit from Dr. Nicholas Peppas, Chairman of the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin. Dr. Peppas is one of the leading scholars in the world, working across the fields of biomedical engineering, chemical engineering and pharmacy. Several of our graduates have attended UT-Austin for doctoral studies and have done their work under the guidance of Dr. Peppas. One of those is a current member of our Biomedical Engineering faculty, Dr. Mary Caldorera-Moore. My son, Kyle, also had the privilege to study under Dr. Peppas. I appreciate the work done by Mary and her colleagues in bringing leading scholars to campus to meet with our faculty, students and greater community. On Monday, I met with several staff including regularly scheduled meetings with my Director of Communications, Dave Guerin, and Foundation Major Gifts Officer, Michele Robinson. They help me keep a focus on two major areas of importance for me, communications and fund-raising. I also met with a couple of my venture capital friends who are considering establishing a fund related to Tech’s engineering innovations. I enjoyed hearing from Lady Techster’s Head Basketball Coach Tyler Summit who spoke at the monthly Faculty & Staff club luncheon on Tuesday. Later that afternoon, we held our first Fall Quarter meeting of the Administrative and Planning Council. The APC consists of all of the VPs, Deans, Athletics Director, Communications Director, SGA President and Chair of the University Senate. We always focus our discussions on the University’s strategic plan to ensure that everyone is informed and aligned. The APC also approves all major policies that are recommended by other campus committees. Throughout the rest of the week, I had numerous meetings with faculty, staff and students. I try to spend as much time as I can walking around campus to chat with students and see how things are going with them. I have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know many of these students and I am most impressed by our student body. We were pleased to see the second consecutive year of 20% increases in our freshman class. We also saw the average ACT scores for entering freshmen climb to another all-time high of 24.7. The more time that I get to spend with these students, the more I realize how special they are and how much they enhance Louisiana Tech through their presence. Some of my time this past week was focused on preparations for a joint meeting, held on Saturday, of the Louisiana Tech University Foundation Board and the Alumni Association Board. The two boards meet jointly each Fall in University Hall. I provided a State of the University address and AD Tommy McClelland provided an update on athletics. On Saturday, we also had our major “Time Out For Tech” event with almost 3,000 prospective students and parents showing up in the Quad for a big Tech Welcome. Most of those students and families also attended the Bulldogs’ football game on Saturday evening.