From the desk of President Leslie K. Guice
Midsummer week's things at Tech
After several weeks out on the road meeting with alumni and friends, I was glad to get back in the office this week. We are still closing out last year’s budget and finalizing this year’s budget and I had several budget meetings with my staff this week. I am pleased that we have found ways to maintain budget stability over the past couple of years, but the uncertainties we face during the year make it most difficult to plan and prepare for the future. Our tuition and fee increases this year are helping us to keep up with the increasing costs of operations as well as maintaining the progress in faculty hiring that we made last year through the WISE program. We also have invested more into scholarships and need-based aid to support the increases in numbers that we have seen in high-achieving students over the past couple of years. Our focus continues to be on increasing the size of our student body, and I believe that we will continue to see increases this Fall. We seem to be attracting more and more students from across the nation. On Monday morning, I met with a new student and his parents from Massachusetts who had come to get an early start during our second summer session. I was also contacted on Monday by a parent of a student from Alaska who will be sending her daughter here this Fall. I stopped by the Art and Architecture summer camp in Hale Hall this week and met several of those students who traveled here from Dallas and South Louisiana. And I have enjoyed chatting with a number of other excellent prospective students from across the region and nation as I walk across campus. One of those students who graduated from one of North Louisiana’s top high schools told me yesterday that he thought half of their senior class might be coming to Tech. We never know how things will work out until the beginning of Fall classes, but I remain optimistic. We are also excited about our partnership activities and the impacts those are having on our campus, community and state. Our friends from Monster Moto have continued to be present on the campus this week as they fill more of their positions for their management team and manufacturing operations. I also stopped by to visit CenturyLink CEO Glen Post this week to bring him up to speed with our progress in student recruitment and academic program development in support of CenturyLink’s growth. And we continue to build our partnership with the Cyber Innovation Center and other companies through the Louisiana Tech Research Institute that we recently announced. Over the past couple of weeks, we have also visited with our mayors from Bossier City, Shreveport, Monroe and West Monroe who are some of our key partners in economic development of the I-20 corridor.My senior leadership team and I spent all day Wednesday in a retreat to review and assess our strategic plan and related activities. We also hosted a candidate for Vice President for University Advancement on campus this week. Finally, I had the pleasure to recognize one of our alumni and distinguished faculty members, Dr. Eric Guilbeau, who retired from Tech this year. Eric was one of the first graduate students under the supervision of President Emeritus Dan Reneau as he initiated the Biomedical Engineering program in the early 1970s. Eric completed his Ph.D. under Dr. Reneau’s guidance and went on to a successful career in academia. We were glad to have him return to Tech in 2008 to finish out his academic career where he began. I was honored to present him with a Professor Emeritus award in the presence of the Biomedical Engineering faculty and his mentor, Dan Reneau.