From the desk of President Leslie K. Guice

Partnering along the I-20 corridor

Jan 28, 2017 | Weekly Update

Much of my time this week focused on activities with Tech’s partnerships. On Monday, I began with a visit by Dr. Vijay John, Professor of Engineering at Tulane, who was on campus as part of the New Frontiers in Biomedical Research Series. It was great to have Dr. John return to campus and explore potential research collaborations with our faculty. One of my later Monday meetings was with VP Terry McConathy, Registrar Bob Vento and Tech Barksdale Director Monte Parker to discuss the renewal of our educational partnership with Barksdale. I also welcomed Dean Gary Kennedy and Dr. Ethel Jones, Director of our School of Human Ecology, to discuss our plans for the expanded Early Childhood Education Center.

With LDCC Chancellor Dennis Epps, Ruston Campus Director Doug Postel, VC John Turner & VC Don Wheeler

On Tuesday, after several meetings with my senior administrators and students, I welcomed LDCC Chancellor Dennis Epps and several members of his administrative team to sign a partnership agreement for cross enrollment and delivery of courses that are required by some non-traditional students and students with needs for additional support.  On Tuesday evening, Mayor Ronny Walker invited me to join him, Monster Moto President Rick Sukkar and several others for an interview with a national publication. The interview focused on Monster Moto’s decision to move manufacturing operations to Ruston, a decision that was enabled by aggressive actions by Mayor Walker, and based in significant part on their partnership with Tech. Through the first few months of this partnership, Tech students have brought significant value to Monster Moto by designing packaging systems that significantly reduced shipping costs. On Wednesday, I welcomed some architects to campus to talk about plans for campus landscaping that would complement our overall master plan development. I also welcomed a group of Industrial and Organizational Psychology doctoral students and faculty, who are helping us plan future directions for summer school. This team is part of AROS (Applied Research for Organizational Solutions) that does outstanding work in improving processes and addressing needs for many companies (and our own institution.) When these students graduate, they are highly skilled, in high demand, and outstanding representatives of Louisiana Tech.

Stan Napper, Sumeet & Prerna Dua, Hisham Hegab, Chris & Cathy Martin-key leaders in our CSRA partnership

Late Wednesday, I headed to Shreveport with VP Stan Napper to attend the North Louisiana Economic Partnership’s Top Event celebrating economic development in North Louisiana. Louisiana Tech was selected to receive NLEP’s Top of Mind Award for our campus’ strong efforts in developing North Louisiana’s technology-based workforce. I had the honor of accepting the award on behalf of our faculty, staff and administrators who have worked incredibly hard to develop high-demand programs and talent that is supporting and attracting great companies in our region.    

With BPCC Chancellor Rick Bateman

Thursday morning, I went back to Bossier City to sign an agreement with BPCC that provides pathways for their faculty and staff to pursue degrees at Louisiana Tech. BPCC Chancellor Rick Bateman and I, and our teams, are working together on several initiatives and I expect us to sign other agreements in the near future. I spent much of Thursday and Friday with many of our faculty and administrators, and the senior leadership of our strong partner CSRA at its Integrated Technology Center in Bossier Center. Joining in on this Academic Summit were representatives from BPCC and Northwestern State University, who are also partners in developing the workforce for CSRA. This partnership is one of the most robust partnerships in the country and that is reflected by the commitment of CSRA to bring over 20 of their most senior executives to spend two days in intense curriculum discussions with our faculty. Our faculty were able to get insights into future directions of the company and their technology requirements. This exposure keeps our faculty on the leading edge and greatly enhances the education for our students. Special thanks to VP Stan Napper for all of his tremendous leadership in coordinating this partnership with CSRA. Here are a few of my favorite pics for the week:

CSRA CIO & ITC leader, John Dancy, addresses faculty at Academic Summit

ULS Prez Jim Henderson welcoming Summit participants


Mallory Spillers, one of my grand-students (child of a former student of mine), stops by to visit

Tech alums Jennifer Lazarus & Hannah Cook greet me at BPCC


Tech alum and BPCC VC Lesa Taylor-Dupree welcomes us to BPCC

Alum & classmate Danny Norris visits office


Wednesday Bookstore fire causes campus disruptions

Stopped by our Barksdale Education Center offices on Thursday


Thanking our faculty and partners at NLEP event