From the desk of President Leslie K. Guice

Recruiting, Reaffirming and Inspiring words from Tech

Mar 18, 2015 | Weekly Update

One of the things that I enjoy doing most is meeting with prospective faculty members. I began the week with a Monday morning visit of a prospective chemical engineering faculty member with a very strong background in biomedical technologies. Later in the day, I had meetings with one of our cyber faculty members, my Director of Communications, a student, and one of our local industry partners. The rest of the day was filled with planning activities. On Tuesday, we welcomed the accreditation reaffirmation site review team from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). This is the primary body for the accreditation of degree-granting institutions in the southeastern US. Our faculty and staff have spent many hours conducting our internal review and assessment, preparing reports, and preparing for the site visit. I also had a budget meeting on Tuesday, looking at both the current fiscal year budget and next year’s budget. The uncertainties surrounding the state’s budget for next year make our own budget planning very challenging. The biggest impact of the uncertainty on state and university revenues right now is in our ability to commit to filling much-needed faculty and staff positions for next fall.
EcoCar Lab tour

Giving a tour through the eco-marathon car lab; getting ready to race in Detroit in about 3 weeks

I was pleased to have one of our civil engineering alumni drop by the office on Tuesday with his grand-daughter who had come for a campus visit from Houston. I welcomed the opportunity to give them a walking tour across campus. Because she was interested in mechanical engineering, I took her into Bogard Hall where she was able to observe our freshmen “Living with the Lab” curriculum, and also visit with some of the students and faculty who were working on the eco-marathon vehicle for this year’s competition in Detroit. The engaging nature of these activities makes our programs a strong selling point for the institution to prospective students and employers. I just have the feeling that we will have one more student attending Tech next year from Houston!

Future Techster, Nina Collins, posing with the bulldog

Late Tuesday afternoon, I walked out into the 16th floor lobby of Wyly Tower and noticed a young lady and her mother there having a few pictures taken by a friend. I introduced myself and invited them to come into my office to take some pictures. It turns out that the young lady, Nina, is the daughter of one of our outstanding staff members, Adam Collins. Nina is an exceptional senior at Ruston High and heading to Tech next fall! After my late Tuesday afternoon meeting with the SACSCOC team chair, I headed over to the TAC to watch the Dunkin’ Dogs in their first-round NIT game versus a tough Central Michigan team. The TAC had one of the largest crowds that I have ever seen, and our enthusiastic fans helped lift the Bulldogs to a convincing win to set the stage for a second-round matchup with Texas A&M on Monday. Wednesday was filled with meetings with the SACSCOC team, including a campus tour for a couple of the team members. I am very proud of the work done by our faculty and staff during this visit and I am confident that the outcomes of the visit will be excellent. One final note – I was most impressed by the national presentations recently made by the head of our Health Informatics and Information Management department, Dr. Angela Kennedy. Angela is national past-President of the Health Information Management Association and is one of the most respected information management educators in the nation. Angela made a compelling presentation at a national conference on her personal dealings with the medical profession in diagnosing and treating her adopted daughters. The passion in her words as a health informatics expert, parent and caregiver led to a standing ovation (and this is not the first time for that.) I encourage you to hear her inspiring presentation below: ONC conference speech She was also recently invited to speak to the Senate Health, Education and Labor Committee and that testimony is provided below (Angela’s remarks begin at about the 45 minute mark): Senate hearing remarks.