Universities are associated with numerous organizations like foundations, athletics conferences, professional societies and university systems. I spent much of this week in meetings with some affiliated organizations that are very important to Tech. On Monday, I went to our Bossier Center to meet with the Louisiana Tech Research Institute (LTRI) Board. LTRI is a 501c3 formed about 3 years ago to support our R&D, training and general support for defense agencies and related organizations. LTRI provides our faculty, staff and students with special opportunities that can have significant impacts for our region and nation, including the growth of our ecosystem associated with regional defense industries and military bases.
Wednesday Tampa sunrise
Early Tuesday, I flew to Tampa to attend the winter Conference USA Board of Directors meeting. We have typically rotated our semiannual meetings between Dallas and Florida to facilitate travel and connections to C-USA sponsor organizations. Our winter meeting also includes athletics directors. It is good to see our conference leadership develop stronger relationships and support for our institutions. Our conference staff have also done an excellent job in developing relationships with various sponsor and media organizations. The conference members are also able to have stronger representation with the NCAA through a collective voice.
Stacy Gilbert & our Blue Fire first-year experience and communications team speak to a packed room
After returning to Monroe from Tampa late Wednesday evening, I drove to Hammond to attend the inaugural University of Louisiana System Conference on Thursday. Approximately 30 of our faculty and staff attended and many of them made presentations in the breakout sessions. Our outstanding Tech SGA President and ULS Board member, Ben Rice, was there and participated in a panel session on leadership. It was great to see the stronger relationships develop among the faculty and staff of our sister institutions during the conference. While we may all compete on the playing field, we recognize the importance of working together to enable our institutions and the communities that we serve to compete globally for economic opportunities for our citizens. Southeastern Louisiana University did an outstanding job of hosting the conference and ULS President Jim Henderson and the ULS staff did a great job in organizing the program. We were all pleased to welcome Governor John Bel Edwards as the Thursday luncheon speaker and he reiterated his strong commitment to higher education.
Here are a few of my favorite pics for the week:
Prof Michael Williams brings Arch 125 students into Quad
Welcome to our Bossier Center
Blue Fire team Jen Carter, Lisa Merritt, Stacy Gilbert and Jo Ann Dauzat
Tech faculty & staff connecting at ULS Conference
Governor Edwards speaks to ULS attendees
Tech leaders listen to Governor Edwards