From the desk of President Leslie K. Guice
Being WISE with our partners
Several of my activities this week centered on some of the partnership activities we have underway. I tried to spend as much time as possible in developing our WISE funding implementation plans. The WISE program is a Louisiana initiative to support the production of graduates in high-demand majors to ensure that Louisiana colleges and universities can meet the demand of employers who are rapidly growing their workforce in Louisiana. WISE is also intended to support research and innovation activities between universities and industry partners. The WISE funding is very important and timely for Tech and we are poised to capitalize upon the program as a result of all of our existing partnership activities that will be enhanced through this initiative. We intend to use much of our funding to support faculty and to recruit/retain students. On Monday, I made a trip to Bossier City to plan more activities with the Cyber Innovation Center. CIC Director Craig Spohn and I visited our colleagues at Barksdale Air Force Base to discuss ways that we could support their efforts. We are fortunate to have BAFB, including the mighty Eighth Air Force and the Air Force Global Strike Command, in our community.On Tuesday morning, I stopped by the TAC to watch Coach Tyler Summitt run the Lady Techsters through a few drills on their second day of practice. I was most impressed with the intensity of the practice and the careful attention to details by Coach Summitt and his staff. Later Tuesday, I had several meetings with my administrative team and students. One of our freshman engineering students, Ernestos Eterovic of Bolivia, stopped by with his father to talk about their upcoming participation in an international all-terrain vehicle competition in Bolivia. Ernestos has received considerable international recognition for his success in the Rally Dakar competition last year. Hopefully, Ernestos will get involved with our students in the Baja and Eco-marathon competitions. I also met with Evan Puckett, a business student involved in our entrepreneurship program, who provided me with some updates on the new company called ConnectOne. LLC. Our students are pretty amazing! Wednesday morning, VP Corre Stegall and I met with our University Foundation Executive Committee and representatives of a company with considerable expertise in fund-raising. One of the executives from our partner company, AMDOCS, came by for a visit during lunch. Later in the day, VP Terry McConathy and I had a visit with the Dean and unit heads in the College of Applied and Natural Sciences. We are visiting with each of the colleges to ensure that we keep our communications open at all levels across campus. Thursday was a big day in kicking off a cyber industry consortium meeting on our campus that included several companies and government agencies who were also visiting to recruit our students for internships. Two of the major participants included CenturyLink and Computer Sciences Corporation. Later in the day, VP Stan Napper and I made a trip over to the CIC in Bossier City to meet with all of the cyber consortium members about other activities that we could do together to support this industry in the region. Before heading to Bossier City on Thursday, I stopped by the Argent Pavilion to thank the many volunteers and representatives of first-responder agencies from across the region and state that were on campus doing a major mock disaster drill. Such disaster planning activities are crucial for ensuring readiness for potential disasters that could impact our campus and community.