From the desk of President Leslie K. Guice
From Nashville to Baton Rouge
This week began for me in Nashville where I was attending the annual Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) meeting. SACSCOC is the regional higher education accrediting body and its annual meeting draws thousands of college and university administrators and staff from across the southern states. Monday’s meetings were specifically focused on issues that are important to presidents. One of the presentations was on the impacts of social media on higher education by Tanya Joosten of the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee. While she was speaking, Centenary President David Rowe and I spent some time tweeting. Another outstanding presentation was made by Cameron Evans, Chief Technology Officer at Microsoft Corporation, who spoke about technology and its implications for the next generation of learners. Our meetings were held in the beautiful new Nashville Music City Center complex and surrounding hotels – a development that has transformed downtown Nashville.I was able to be in the office on Tuesday and had several meetings lined up for the day but was able to slip away at lunch for a long-overdue haircut. On Tuesday evening, Kathy and I hosted a community Christmas party at the house. We enjoyed visiting with so many of our alumni and community leaders. Jim Robken and Joe Alexander directed an ensemble from the School of Music as they played wonderful music for the guests. We also had a student, Mary Rudd, who played the piano during the party. I appreciate all of the work of Kathy, Ryan Richard, Penny Humphries, Meg Allen, Logan Brandt, and others who did so much of the prep work for the party. After a brief morning meeting with Ryan Richard to begin planning for Heart of Dallas Bowl activities, I headed to Baton Rouge for an afternoon meeting with the Board of Regents. I assisted Dr. Kerry Davidson, Deputy Commissioner for Sponsored Programs, in a presentation to the Regents about some recommendations that came out of our state-wide research master planning committee’s work. The Regents approved our recommendations to pursue initiatives for research investment in five priority areas: Advanced Manufacturing and Materials, Life Sciences and Bioengineering, Digital Media and Enterprise Software, Coastal and Water Management, and Clean Technology and Energy. Following the Regents meeting, I headed over to Lafayette to watch the Bulldogs play the University of Louisiana at Lafayette in a men’s basketball matchup. Prior to the game, Coordinator of Advancement, Jimmy Washington, hosted an alumni reception in the Cajundome. I was able to make it to Lafayette in time to attend that and was excited to meet and renew friendships with several alumni from the area. We had a good turnout of students, faculty, staff and alumni for the game. The next morning, I returned back to Baton Rouge for the University of Louisiana System Board meeting and then made it back to Ruston late Thursday evening. On Friday, I had a couple of meetings and then drove over to Bossier City for a meeting with the Cyber Innovation Center leadership. I know that next week will be packed and busy, but it will be good to be back in the office for a while.