From the desk of President Leslie K. Guice
Watching a changing of the guard at the Capital
Monday was gubernatorial inauguration day in Baton Rouge, so I headed out early in the morning to arrive in time for the ceremony (and to find good parking). These inaugural ceremonies represent important times of transition for our state’s highest elected officials and a time to reflect on the past and look toward the future. Perhaps more importantly, it’s a time to celebrate being a citizen of Louisiana. When gathering at the state capital for events like this, it doesn’t take very long to get a strong sense of the cultural diversity of Louisiana’s people. And almost all of Louisiana’s living governor’s were in attendance, giving us an opportunity to reflect upon Louisiana’s colorful history. I had the opportunity to visit with numerous friends and colleagues, and to catch up on the latest news related to the directions that the legislature and administration are heading in the coming days and weeks. I am very glad that I went. Tuesday morning, I returned to the office for a meeting with Tech Talk staff to discuss upcoming campus construction and improvement projects. I anticipate that they will run a series of articles on many of our plans for campus improvement. Certainly, the next few months and years will be busy, challenging, and exciting as we see the campus transformation defined by our master plan begin to take shape. Later Tuesday, I met with the Administrative and Planning Council to review and discuss recent accomplishments related to our strategic plan. I believe these times of convening the university’s leadership are crucial for establishing effective communications, soliciting broad input and establishing consensus for future directions. One of the important topics of discussion was the upcoming project to construct a University Center including an information commons, learning commons, student success center, research collaboration hub and administration core. More later…… After a day in the office meeting with several Deans and VPs on Wednesday, I was pleased to join Dean of Business Chris Martin Thursday for a meeting with several of our alumni and friends at the KPMG offices in Shreveport. We appreciate the opportunity offered by CoB Alumnus of the Year, Dut LeBlanc, to arrange the meeting so we could provide updates on the institution and college. I had another meeting with accountants on Thursday afternoon, this one was with some state auditors who were providing us with an exit meeting following completion of an audit. As usual, our financial staff led by AVP Lisa Cole did an outstanding job of ensuring that we are in compliance in our financial affairs and ensuring another clean report. On Friday, I joined VP Jim King, Dickie Crawford and Bobby Dowling at the Lambright Intramural Center to see the updates on a new Wellness Center that is under construction. This will be a great asset and will allow us to offer greater services to our students and others across campus. Dr. King and his staff do an excellent job in finding creative ways to improve our campus programs.