From the desk of President Leslie K. Guice
My Take on Tech
Monday morning began for me in Dallas with a visit with one of Tech’s Tower Medallion Award winners (and member of the Hall of Distinguished Alumni.) I had wanted to visit with this person since the day I became president, so was glad to finally get the meeting arranged. I had intended to stay in Dallas for some other alumni meetings, but had to head back to Ruston early so I could meet with one of our strategic corporate partners, CSRA. Several members of CSRA, including their CIO John Dancy, arrived on campus mid-afternoon to meet with VP Stan Napper and several of our faculty. CSRA was on campus to discuss their recent reorganization and expansion plans for Bossier City. They also wanted to be sure that the group that is leading the Bossier development had a strong understanding of the resources, talent and culture offered by Tech. Early Tuesday morning, I was pleased to welcome Congressman Garrett Graves to breakfast at the Ropp Center. Congressman Graves was in north Louisiana and asked to stop by to get updates on Tech’s activities. He noted that many things had changed since he was here as a student in the early 1990s. While in the Ropp, I introduced the Congressman to a large group of local public safety officials who were having a breakfast meeting. Wednesday morning, I enjoyed meeting with political science professor Jeremy Mhire to get updates on recent activities of the Waggonner Center. Jeremy is one of our incredibly talented professors who has broad impacts across the campus, community and nation. Gary Stokley, retired sociology professor, stopped by for a visit as well. Gary is one of the most recognized and beloved of our former faculty, and has taught 60,000+ students (including me) over his long tenure at Tech. Gary continues to be a good friend and supporter with a great passion for Louisiana Tech! Early Wednesday afternoon, I met with VP Jim King and CFO Lisa Cole to talk about some of our upcoming projects. I regretted having to miss the School of Human Ecology Awards luncheon at the DAC that afternoon, but was pleased that Kathy represented me there. She was excited to see that Nutrition & Dietetics grad and Tech Chef de Cuisine Josh Dedeaux was named recipient of the Shirley P. Reagan Leadership Award. Kathy and I have greatly enjoyed getting to know Josh and we admire his talents and passion as a chef. Congratulations, Josh! Thursday was another full day for me. I enjoyed an early meeting with a prospective student and her family from Delhi. What an impressive family! We then had an early afternoon meeting of the Student Technology Fee Board where our students reviewed and recommended funding for several technology projects based upon proposals received from across campus. I am always impressed by the wise judgement and leadership demonstrated by our students on this committee. Late Thursday, Kathy and I were pleased to host the Tech Spirit Groups for a buffet on our patio. Coaches presented recognitions and awards to several of these students. I really appreciate all of the work and commitment demonstrated by our Cheerleaders and Regal Blues throughout the year. I know that they practice hard and for long hours, and do an excellent job of representing Tech at many of our sporting events and other campus activities. So many of these students are also excellent in the classroom and leaders in other student organizations. In addition to my many meetings and scheduled events, I enjoyed a few walks around campus this week giving me a chance to visit with students, faculty and visitors. Each time I get out, I learn more about our outstanding student body and campus community. One of my most rewarding experiences was seeing students out working on Friday afternoon cleaning up buildings and grounds in preparation for an upcoming event that will bring hundreds of prospective students to campus. Over 60 students were working around the College of Engineering and Science, washing windows, sweeping, mopping, picking up trash, pulling weeds and anything else that needed to be done. Unfortunately, we have had to keep many of our staff positions unfilled because of budget cuts, but not to be deterred, our students demonstrated an incredible commitment to the university by taking it in their own hands to ensure that things look nice around campus. I could not be prouder of our student body and our faculty who have inspired these students by their own example. Thank you all…I could not be prouder! I hope you enjoy these pictures from my week.