From the desk of President Leslie K. Guice
A week from Convocation to Enroll-a-Palooza
This week began with a short trip to Bossier City to meet with our colleagues from the Cyber Innovation Center to follow up on last week’s exciting groundbreaking with Computer Sciences Corporation and planning for future activities. Late Monday afternoon, we welcomed graduate students to Tech with a Graduate Convocation at University Hall. Special thanks to Dean of Graduate School Sheryl Shoemaker for organizing this event. We are fortunate to attract so many excellent graduate students to Tech in graduate programs through each of our Colleges. On Tuesday, I met with Assistant VP Sam Wallace to discuss some of our capital outlay projects. We are very busy in monitoring and planning multiple construction projects on campus. Sam does an excellent job of staying on top of things despite a small staff. I have seen him save the university hundreds of thousands of dollars through careful management of facilities. I also met with business student and leader Sam Hussein. Sam is actively involved in SGA, Union Board and a number of other organizations, and I enjoy every opportunity that I have to catch up with him on student activities. Late Tuesday afternoon, VP Stan Napper and I had a follow-up meeting with our CSC partners to assess our activities and brief Louisiana Economic Development representatives on progress of our project. On Wednesday, I had a meeting with a prospective student from West Monroe and was able to give her a tour across campus while helping her consider many degree options that she could pursue here. Later that morning, I met with another student who was considering what her career options might be after graduating in biomedical engineering. I was able to provide her with some advice that will hopefully help her prepare for her career. Being able to talk with students and learn more about their goals and interests is one of the most rewarding and important things that I’m able to do as President. The rest of the week was full of meetings with Deans, VPs and more students. I enjoyed a visit on Friday with four students from Anacoco. Their teacher had contacted me to let me know they were coming to campus and I asked our Admissions staff to bring them to the office so I could meet with them. Later Friday, I attended an “Enroll-a-Palooza” brainstorming meeting with 85 faculty and staff directed by VP Jim King. I was able to thank all of these participants for their tremendous efforts that have led to a 42% increase in first-time freshmen over the past two years. The purpose of the meeting was to get ideas on the table about how to further improve our recruitment processes. This tremendous cooperation across all of our divisions is making a huge difference and helping us to achieve our ambitious enrollment goals. Jim King did a great job of engaging the participants in discussion, and we got many great ideas for the future. On Saturday morning, I was invited to speak with the College of Business Advisory Council. This group of distinguished Tech alumni provides tremendous support for the college and institution. Later Saturday morning, I welcomed several of our 1940s football team members and their families who were representing an organization of alumni known as the “National Association for the Advancement of Grandstand Quarterbacks.” This group has remained faithfully connected to each other over the past 65 years and has also maintained strong connections to Louisiana Tech and our football program. Two of the founders, Leo Sanford and Red Aucoin, led the production of a video that highlighted the post-WWII era of Tech football under legendary Coach Joe Aillet. We premiered the video, entitled “The View from the Grandstands” and listened to some of their stories as football players, coaches and friends over many years. What a special day for me! Special thanks to our Communications Director Dave Guerin for final production of the video.