From the desk of President Leslie K. Guice
Kicking off Spring Quarter after the storm
We kicked off the Spring Quarter on Monday after cancelling classes for three days last week due to flooding and hazardous driving conditions. We had quite a few students on campus late last week but many of our faculty, staff and students who live throughout Lincoln Parish and North Louisiana were not able to safely get to campus because of the extensive flooding across the region. We were saddened to hear all of the stories of damage, destruction and loss as a result of the flooding event, but were pleased to see the helping hands offered by so many to assist those in need. Fortunately, the Tech campus had relatively little damage, most of which was caused by leaking roofs and water infiltration. Our staff did a great job in getting the campus ready for classes and other activities on Monday, and our students seemed to be glad to get things back to normal.I had a full schedule on Monday and began the day by welcoming Dr. Neil Granger, Head of LSUHSC-Shreveport’s Department of Molecular and Cellular Physiology, who was on campus to speak with faculty and students as part of the New Frontiers in Biomedical Research Series, which is led by our faculty. Following his visit, I met with one of our industry partners that has been working to develop a gas-to-liquids process and pilot plant based on technologies that were developed by our faculty and students here at Louisiana Tech. It was good to hear about the excellent progress that they have made. This type of partnership is absolutely essential for transferring the results of university-led research into products and businesses that can have significant impacts in the region and nation. It represents one of the reasons that we made decisions years ago to move Tech in this direction and sought to elevate the institution to a national research university. Later Monday, I visited with College of Business Dean Chris Martin, to discuss some of the academic and research activities that he is working on in the Shreveport-Bossier community. I was also pleased to speak with Tech alumnus and former SGA President Will Dearmon who was making a pass back through Ruston while on a short break from his graduate school activities at the Bush School at Texas A&M. I also visited with VP Jim King on several of the projects that he is working on related to student recruitment and housing. I took a break to walk across campus on Monday and got invited to participate in Kappa Sigma’s DART fund-raiser (paying to bash a car) while walking though Centennial Plaza. It was great to see all of the students and all of the excitement and energy that they bring to our campus. I greatly appreciate the service-oriented focus of our student organizations for our community. Tuesday was another full day including meetings with AD Tommy McClelland, the new CEO at North Louisiana Medical Center, and a photo-op with Miss Tech Rachel Vizza as she prepares to participate in the Miss Louisiana pageant. I also met with Maggie Brakeville, SGA President and student member of the ULS Board, who was giving me reports on student activities as well as her recent trip to Washington DC with other Louisiana SGA presidents. Before I left the office Tuesday afternoon, I had a visit from one of my former students who was also a Lady Techster softball player. She brought her daughter by for a visit to explore some of the academic activities that Tech has to offer. One of my greatest pleasures is getting to reconnect with former students and hearing them reflect upon their wonderful experiences while at Tech. I am heading out to Baton Rouge today (Wednesday) to attend a University of Louisiana System Board meeting. After that meeting, I’ll be driving to New Orleans to attend the Investiture of Tulane University’s new President, Michael Fitts. It is customary for Presidents to attend other presidential investitures, and it is a wonderful opportunity for connections and reflections.