From the desk of President Leslie K. Guice
Taking Tech to the Capitol
Much of this week was spent in Baton Rouge. I left early Tuesday for several meetings with Board staff and colleagues and then attended the University of Louisiana System Board meeting that afternoon. We had several important items on the Board’s agenda including requests for approval to demolish Harper Hall and Harris Hall. As an architect, I don’t take great pleasure in demolishing buildings, but these buildings have long passed their useful life and are not practical for renovation or restoration. We don’t have immediate plans to rebuild anything on those sites, but will likely return this area to green space with enhanced walkways to Davison Hall, Biomed and IfM.
Governor Edwards also came to Claiborne Office Building to interact with the ULS Board, Presidents and others in attendance for the ULS meetings. We are grateful that the Governor and legislature maintained stability for higher ed funding over the past couple of years, and are optimistic that there may be some modest reinvestment in higher education this year. After a decade of cuts, some reinvestment is most important for us as we strive to keep Louisiana Tech, our region and the State of Louisiana competitive nationally and globally.
Wednesday was ULS Day at the Capitol. Approximately 1,200 students, faculty and staff from our nine ULS institutions met on the Capitol lawn. We had an outstanding turnout of Tech students who brought a lot of energy to the event. I deeply appreciate their commitment to take the whole day to represent our institution and remind others of the importance of higher education. Many of us also went into the Capitol to attend committee meetings and the sessions in the House and Senate Chambers. It so happened that the Appropriations Committee was having the higher ed budget hearings that day, so I was able to listen to most of those hearings.
Professional Aviation student Mason Andrews was recognized by the Governor, the House and the Senate for his Guinness World Record for being the youngest person to ever circumnavigate the globe flying solo in a single engine aircraft. We are certainly proud of Mason’s accomplishments.
On Thursday morning, we held a brief ceremony to recognize a special friend and benefactor, Scotty Moran, who has inspired us through his generosity and commitment to support education and economic development initiatives. Scotty’s life story and his impacts are remarkable and we are pleased that he began that journey on the Louisiana Tech campus.