From the desk of President Leslie K. Guice
From Boca Raton to Baton Rouge
On Monday morning, I was pleased to welcome several executives from Ericsson, the Swedish communications systems company, who has located some operations to Monroe in support of their partnership with CenturyLink. Like CenturyLink and CSC, they see tremendous opportunities in collaborating with Louisiana Tech and are very interested in working with us to gain access to our students, graduates and other resources. These companies, in partnership with Louisiana Tech, are growing the knowledge economy in our state and region – something that has been a focus of ours for two decades. It is crucial that we continue to grow to support their needs. Later Monday, I attended a board meeting of the Ruston-Lincoln Chamber of Commerce and then spent the rest of the day in meetings with my administrative team reviewing building projects, academic program activities, fund-raising, and communications strategies.After some Tuesday morning meetings in the office, I headed to the airport to attend a Conference USA Board meeting on Wednesday in Boca Raton, Florida. This board meeting included both presidents and athletics directors. Conference USA staff provided us with updates on a number of major NCAA and conference issues. We were pleased that Conference USA teams performed well in football bowl games this year, elevating Conference USA to its high standing among its peers. While it was great to be in Boca Raton, I was not able to stay long enough to enjoy the great climate. But, I definitely look forward to Tech’s future opportunities to play in the Boca Raton Bowl. I was back in the office on Thursday for more meetings with my administrative team focused on student advancement and housing, academic accreditation preparation, facilities and finances. I also enjoyed a visit from a prospective computer science student and his father from Benton. I took some time to take them on a tour of some of our facilities while introducing them to a few faculty and students along the way. I always enjoy doing these tours as it gives me a reason to walk around campus and interact with our outstanding faculty and students. I also enjoy the opportunity to share some of my perspectives on academic and career opportunities with prospective students. After a great Conference USA win for the Bulldogs over Western Kentucky on Thursday evening, I headed to Baton Rouge for Friday meetings with our ULS board and presidents to discuss the current state budget situation and its potential impacts on higher education. While the situation is very serious, I remain optimistic that our state leaders will find a way to get us through this without major negative impacts to higher education. Obviously, this will remain a primary focus for us over the next few months and we will need everyone’s support to ensure that we continue to advance this institution.