From the desk of President Leslie K. Guice
Sandwiching boards between football games
After “soaking” up a good win over Middle Tennessee State Saturday night and enjoying a Military Appreciation and Athletics Hall of Fame weekend, Kathy and I headed over to Dallas on Sunday for a Conference USA Board meeting. We took the opportunity to drop by the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Dallas on Sunday afternoon to participate in Engineering and Science Day held by our College of Engineering and Science. Associate Dean Heath Tims and several staff and students were there to welcome a solid crowd of students and parents. Rather than hearing a lecture, students were asked to engage in a learning exercise where they had to build an electric circuit with LEDs, switches and a battery. I believe this was an excellent way to help everyone understand why Tech’s “Living with the Lab” curriculum is so impactful. And of course, the students got to see Tech’s national award-winning Diesel Dawg ecocar while getting first-hand information from our students about their classes, internship experiences, and job opportunities. Our industry partner, CSC, was also on hand to talk about the great opportunities that they are offering our students and graduates. Special thanks to Heath and his team for making the extra effort to attract great students to Tech! Monday’s Conference USA Board meeting was full of information and discussion. Most importantly, the Board unanimously endorsed Judy MacLeod as Commissioner, making her the first female commissioner of a FBS conference. Judy has had a lot of experience as an athletics director and associate commissioner, and I am confident that she will do a great job in continuing to build our conference. Late Monday, Kathy and I headed to Baton Rouge to attend Board of Regents meetings scheduled for Wednesday. Tech had several items up for approval by the Board including our next round of student housing. The Board also presented the recommended higher education budget. The budget reflected a few changes in the formula and resulted in a proposed $1.7B budget for higher education this year. The proposed budget is significantly larger than last year’s budget of $1B (including TOPS), but it is a modest and appropriate budget considering the real costs and needs faced by higher education. This budget is necessary for us to be able to hire the faculty that we must have to come close to meeting the 14,000 annual jobs expected in Louisiana. Kathy and I were scheduled to head over to Houston on Thursday and Friday for alumni meetings and the Tech vs Rice football game, but Kathy wasn’t feeling well and we had to get her back to Ruston to recuperate. So, I will be watching the Rice game from home on Friday evening. Go Dogs!