From the desk of President Leslie K. Guice
Reaching out and bringing them in
As we transition from the Thanksgiving break and begin our Winter Quarter, we have had several opportunities to reach out to our colleagues and constituents across the state. We are always glad to have the opportunity to showcase our institution and tell the “Tech story.” I believe that it is our institution’s responsibility to provide leadership in showing the way for greater economic prosperity for our region, state, and nation. That prosperity is achieved through greater educational attainment of our citizens and partnering with public and private entities to create jobs for a more stable and diverse economy. Our campus visitors are able to get a better sense of Tech’s impacts when they visit our campus. Monday morning, Chief Innovation Officer Davy Norris and I met with Kevin Clark, a former Global Director for IBM and currently involved in numerous ventures in the Research Triangle Park area of North Carolina. His observations about the growth and opportunities for technology businesses along the I-20 corridor here in North Louisiana reinforced that we are on the right path. On Tuesday morning, I met with our USAF ROTC Detachment Commander, Lt. Col. James Norman, and the southwest regional Commander, Col. Jeffery Staha, to review our ROTC program. We are pleased with the even greater opportunities that our students will have in the future to benefit in leadership development, scholarship and service through ROTC. On Tuesday, I was pleased that the UL System President-select Jim Henderson stopped by for a visit. I am very pleased that he has accepted this crucial leadership role for higher education in Louisiana, and I know that he will do an outstanding job of working with our institutional leadership and government & business leadership to position Louisiana for greater economic competitiveness through higher education. Later Tuesday, my leadership team and I met with our sports marketing partner Learfield to discuss potential new partnership opportunities with them. I also stopped by to visit with the IT staff from many of the ULS institutions who were meeting on our campus to learn best practices and explore sharing of resources. Thanks to Mark Shoemaker for organizing that event. On Wednesday, Communications Director Dave Guerin and I met with the editorial board of the Monroe News-Star. This interview provided me with the opportunity to offer greater insights into the impacts that Louisiana Tech is having through growth and partnerships. I also enjoyed catching up with Tech journalism alumnus Greg Hilburn. Wednesday afternoon, we hosted the Louisiana Committee of 100 (top business leaders) for a regional presentation of the Task Force on Structural Changes in Budget and Tax Policy – a task force formed by concurrent resolution of the legislature last spring. This task force has done excellent work in identifying options for modernizing and enhancing the efficiency and fairness of the state’s tax policies for individuals and businesses, to examine the structure and design of the state budget and make recommendations for long-term budgeting changes. These kinds of changes will be most important for budget stability for the state, something that is of utmost importance to higher education. We were also glad to host another state-wide meeting on Thursday for the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries that decided to host one of its Board meetings at the DAC. Dean Gary Kennedy and I enjoyed having lunch with the LDWF Commissioners and Secretary Charlie Melancon. Thanks to our friend and Commissioner Bill Hogan of the Bank of Ruston for making this happen. I believe it is always helpful to have these Louisianans from across the state on our campus. We were excited to see our students begin to arrive back on campus Wednesday for Winter Quarter classes!