From the desk of President Leslie K. Guice
Kicking off the Dog Days of Summer
After a full day of meetings with my staff and administrative team on Monday, I was pleased to attend the Ruston City Council meeting to receive a recognition for Louisiana Tech as City of Ruston Employer of the Month. I deeply appreciate the recognition of the university by Mayor Ronny Walker and the City Council. We indeed have a great relationship – one that recognizes the important roles that each plays in making this community a great place to live, work and play. My senior leadership team and I had a strategic planning meeting on Tuesday morning in anticipation of engaging more of our faculty and staff in strategic planning activities later this summer. I believe that it is crucial for us to regularly review our plans and activities to ensure that we are doing those things that are most important for advancing the institution. I am privileged to have a strong and creative leadership team that will ask challenging questions, offer creative approaches and speak openly about what is in the best interest of the institution. Late Tuesday afternoon, I drove down to Baton Rouge so that I could be at the legislature on Wednesday. Several key bills were under consideration, and I needed to be there to answer questions and support our legislators who are making most difficult votes to support higher education and the best interests of the State of Louisiana. I am not aware of any time in recent history when so much of higher education’s budget has been at stake this late in the session, but I am comforted by the strong focus and priority that our local legislators and so many others across the state have placed on keeping stable funding for higher education. We will continue to follow things closely over the coming days, and we will have only a short time after that to shape out our final budget for the year that begins July 1. Late Wednesday, our campus began to fill with students and parents attending the first Freshman Orientation session of the year, this one for Honors students. Everyone converged in downtown Ruston for the “Dog Days of Summer” event with food, fun and shopping. Thursday morning, we had the “Big Tech Welcome” in Howard Auditorium for all of the orientation participants. With 350 students, this is our largest ever Honors Orientation. It looks like another great freshman class is shaping up for us! I was also invited to speak to the Ruston Kiwanis Club for their lunch meeting. It was great to be able to interact with a large group of community members who have such an interest in what is happening at the institution. After a few more meetings in the office on Thursday afternoon, I headed over to Shreveport for a networking event for corporate partners of Louisiana Tech Sports Properties. I am grateful to all of these partners that play important roles in supporting the institution and our athletics program. The networking event was located at Community Trust Bank’s nice new corporate center in downtown Shreveport.