From the desk of President Leslie K. Guice
A big week for recognizing the Tech Family
This week kicked off with a most enjoyable visit from some loyal Bulldog and Lady Techster fans. Wesley and Lanie Gregory brought their daughter by to see the Bulldog and were escorted by our friend and student, Rachel Vizza. Following their visit, I went over to meet with the Admissions staff to thank them for all of their recruitment efforts. They have done a great job in assembling one outstanding freshman class after another, and we are seeing significant positive impacts on the size and quality of our student body. There were quite a few other meetings with my administrative staff on Monday and I also took time to do a short video shoot for the Tech & Tails event scheduled later in the week. Monday afternoon, I was pleased to welcome the winners of the student Research Symposium for a reception in my conference room. The symposium provides a great forum for our students across all colleges to present posters or presentations on their research activities. The work of these students was quite impressive, and I appreciate all of our faculty who organized the event and supported the students in their research efforts. Monday evening, Kathy and I went to the School of Human Ecology’s Annual Scholarship Fashion Show & Dinner. Our nutrition and dietetics students prepared a great meal that we enjoyed before the fashion & merchandising students showcased their skills with the fashion show. It was a fun evening as we visited with faculty and friends from the community and watched models of all ages show the latest fashions offered by retailers in the area. Tuesday morning, I was invited to meet with the Council of Academic Deans to provide updates on the latest budget discussions in Baton Rouge and the impacts on our hiring and plans for next year. The uncertainties about the budget create huge challenges for us and we are all hoping that the legislature will continue to move positively and swiftly in developing a budget that prioritizes higher education. I also met with VP Jim King and our architects Tuesday morning to review our latest preliminary plans for student housing – something that is essential for us as we continue to grow our student body and provide them with exceptional living and learning environments. Tuesday afternoon, I had the pleasure of a visit from a couple of alumni, Janine Lotz and Robert Williams, who came to campus to present a newly established scholarship to one of our outstanding students. It was inspiring to hear the stories of their experiences and how their time at Tech had impacted them professionally. Our student, Amara Uyanna, was overwhelmed with the scholarship and I know that meeting with our alumni will be something that she’ll never forget. I thank all of our alumni and friends who have made generous contributions to establish scholarships for our students. You make a difference through your support! My Administrative and Planning Council met Tuesday afternoon, and I was able to recognize our outgoing University Senate President, Mikey Swanbom, for his leadership over the last year. On Wednesday, I had the opportunity to welcome the new President of Louisiana College, Dr. Rick Brewer, and his administrative team to discuss potential collaborations between our two institutions. On Thursday, we hosted a reception for our employees who are retiring this year. Forty faculty and staff members with a combined 772 years of experience at Louisiana Tech are retiring after contributing so much to the institution and our students. I thank them for their service and the positive impacts they have made on Louisiana Tech. On Friday, I met with the lead for Computer Sciences Corporation’s new center in Bossier City, John Dancy, to discuss the status of our partnership. Then, after welcoming the College of Business Advisory Council to campus, I headed over to the Tonk to observe the Cyber Storm event. This is a great event where our cyber students compete in teams to hack into each other’s network in a real-life hackfest. I am looking forward to closing out this week on Friday night at my first alma mater, Bastrop High School, where I have been invited to give the commencement address – 42 years and 51 weeks since I first walked across that stage to receive my diploma. It is a special night for me, and I look forward to reconnecting with some long-time friends.