From the desk of President Leslie K. Guice
From Techsters to the Twins
Monster Moto made the announcement last week that they are bringing their headquarters and manufacturing operations to Ruston. We are pleased that they made that decision and are excited about the other possibilities that are likely to follow through our collaborations with them. I was also pleased to have lunch with Tech alumna Jenny Johnson who brought a very nice check from the ExxonMobil Foundation representing matching funds provided by the Foundation for those employees who contribute to Tech. A special thanks to our most generous ExxonMobil alumni! There was an exciting event for the Guice family on Wednesday as my son Bret and his wife Christy welcomed daughters Elizabeth Jane and Everly Marie into the world where they joined 23-month old brother Christopher. Kathy has been over in Jacksonville, Florida for a few weeks to provide support for Christy and give some loving to Christopher.Monday was packed with back-to-back meetings with my administrative team and staff, as well as with a prospective student, a visitor from the Air Force Institute of Technology, a consultant who is helping us with some strategic planning, and a couple of students who had expressed interests in starting a club sport in men’s bowling. Monday was capped off with the Lady Techsters’ Basketball Banquet at the Lincoln Parish Events Center. We had a good turnout of Lady Techsters’ fans include Tyler Summitt’s father, R.B., who made the nine-hour drive from Tennessee to be there. Everyone congratulated the team and coaching staff for the turn-around season and expressed excitement about the future of Lady Techsters Basketball. On Tuesday, I continued to have staff meetings and enjoyed a special visit from President Emeritus Dan Reneau. I was also able to get my first walk-through tour of the South End Zone Complex led by Danny Graham of Lincoln Builders. Walking through the facility gave me a much better feel for how huge it is. It will be a premier addition to our athletics program and our entire campus community. There are many outstanding parts of the building that will create great experiences for our student athletes, coaching staff and fans. The third floor will be a first-class place for game day for those who are in the club seating. Those seats have already sold out! And the third floor club assembly area will also be a great place for students, faculty and the community to have events, and I am confident that it will be heavily used for many special events throughout the year. Everything is still looking good for having the complex ready for the beginning of this football season. On Wednesday, I headed down to Baton Rouge for a meeting of the University of Louisiana System Presidents’ Council where we spent the bulk of the meeting getting caught up on legislative activities. Wednesday evening, we hosted a reception of the Presidents and a few of our legislators. There are many bills that could impact higher education in this session and, of course, the most important of those have to do with the budget. We are following all of those very closely and are providing encouragement and support to our delegation who are working to find ways to fund higher education this year. It is very important that higher education not see any further cuts as we are ramping up our efforts to support the workforce necessary to meet the high demands of business and industry in the State. We are confident that there are enough solutions out there to maintain stable funding for higher education, but it is going to take everyone’s commitment to make those solutions a reality. The University of Louisiana System Board met on Thursday morning. We had a few items on the agenda including the approval of Dr. Chris Martin as the Dean of the College of Business and Dr. Gary Kennedy as the Dean of the College of Applied and Natural Sciences. I am confident that both will provide exceptional leadership for our institution. Back in the office on Friday, I was pleased to welcome representatives of Monster Moto who were there to explore more partnership opportunities with Tech.