From the desk of President Leslie K. Guice
150 weeks and counting
This is my 150th week as President of Louisiana Tech and I continue to be grateful for the opportunity to serve the people associated with this great institution. I am also blessed with the opportunity to meet so many wonderful people who have been connected with this university in different ways. Monday morning, I welcomed Tech alumnus Dr. Joey Spatafora back to Tech as a guest speaker for the “New Frontiers in Biomedical Research Series” organized by our faculty. Joey is a Professor of Botany and Plant Pathology at Oregon State University, and also serves as Faculty Athletics Representative for the Beavers. Following his visit to my office and a budget meeting with our CFO Lisa Cole, Kathy and I headed over to the Early Childhood Education Center. ECEC Director Laura Chestnut and Human Ecology professor Julie Rutledge invited Kathy and me over to read Amanda Cauley’s book “Born to be a Bulldog” to the preschool students at the Center. We enjoyed the experience and gained a greater appreciation for the efforts of our faculty and student interns to prepare these children for elementary school. The kiddos were very attentive (mostly) while I was there and they got a very special treat when our mascot Tech XXI joined the class. Kathy and I really enjoyed the visit and look forward to returning again! The ECEC will soon be replaced with a larger and more accessible building as we complete renovations of a facility on Louisiana Avenue one block east of the College of Business. Later in the morning, I welcomed a prospective cyber security faculty member to campus and took him to lunch at the Ropp Center with VP Stan Napper, Dean Hisham Hegab and Academic Director Galen Turner. Following lunch, I was pleased to host a retirement reception for the faculty and staff who have retired during the 2015-16 academic year. Twenty-six of our employees who collectively have dedicated 564 years of loyal service to the university were recognized for their service that day. From buildings & grounds staff to food services staff to faculty and administrators, they will all certainly be missed. Monday afternoon, I had a few other meetings with an architect for one of our upcoming projects, VP Brooks Hull to talk about fund-raising, and a prospective student from New Orleans. Then, I wrapped the day up with a special visit with our Tech Leadership Council in University Hall. TLC members are selected through a competitive application process each Fall to participate in a program that promotes leadership development. The TLC is designed to help freshmen and sophomores become further equipped to lead other clubs/organizations on- and off-campus. TLC meets weekly during the Winter and Spring Quarters to provide leadership workshops, tools, and hands-on projects to help enhance each student’s knowledge and skills needed to be a leader on Tech’s campus and in their future careers. Stacy Gilbert and Barry Morales do an excellent job in leading this program that has a significant impact on the development of our students. Just one more thing that helps Tech provide an exceptional educational experience. Kathy and I headed down to Houston Tuesday morning for multiple meetings on Tuesday and Wednesday with alumni throughout the Houston area. Our first meeting was with an alumnus in the Woodlands who was actually one of the key leaders in development of the Woodlands. Roger Galatas, Tech alumnus and former CEO of The Woodlands Operating Company, gave me a copy of the book that he co-authored about the Woodlands development. I loved the opportunity to hear about these experiences from him personally and I continue to be amazed about the wonderful things that our alumni have done throughout their careers. I also enjoy telling our students about these alumni so they can realize what they can accomplish by applying the principles learned through their Louisiana Tech experiences. Tuesday evening, we had a great “Tech’s in Town” reception at Landry’s Seafood in the Woodlands. This was our largest event of the year, so far, and we had a broad representation of alumni from the area including some former athletes, representatives of the oil & gas industry as well as alumni from other sectors of business and industry. I was pleased that Dean Chris Martin and Hisham Hegab joined in on the meeting and shared the latest exciting information about things taking place in their colleges. Kathy and I left the reception in time to make it into central Houston to our son’s house to visit and spend the night. On Wednesday, I had a couple of other meetings with alumni in downtown Houston. As I make these visits, I always learn many interesting things about the tremendous leadership that Tech alumni have played in developing major businesses. And I want to learn as much as possible about more of those alumni who have made a tremendous difference in their professions, in their community and in life. Wednesday evening, we had our 2nd Houston-based “Tech’s in Town” alumni event at the Bay Oaks Country Club in southeast Houston. We enjoyed reconnecting with more loyal Tech alumni there and thank all of those who joined us in these events this week. After spending another night with Kyle and Ginger, Kathy and I headed back to Ruston to wrap up the week on campus. I have enjoyed this week as much as I have the first 149!