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Tech identified as ‘rising star’ in recent study

September 22, 2016

KACIE KAUFMAN
Staff Reporter | kjk019@latech.edu

Louisiana Tech earned recognition as a “rising star” in a study by Firetail, a consulting group that works with universities.

According to the study, Tech was chosen as a prospective member for the “Class of 2030,” which consisted of universities selected for their potential to become renowned leaders both regionally and globally. From this group, Tech was picked as one of the 20 universities identified as “rising stars” with a large capacity for sustained improvement.

“There has to be something special here,” said Leslie Guice, university president. He said Tech did not ask to be a part of this study and was selected based on meeting certain criteria.

Guice said part of what made Tech a candidate was the ability to identify unique areas of excellence and to invest in them.

“As I say, invest in it relentlessly,” Guice said.

He said a key criterion cited by the study was also a university’s “integrated planning.” Guice said Tech exhibited this planning for both the short and long term through goals outlined in strategies such as the Tech 2020 plan and beyond.

“Tech 2020 is not a finish line for us, it is really just a platform for the future,” Guice said. “We also need to be looking out beyond the horizon.”

According to the study, people and culture were another element taken into consideration.

“Louisiana Tech has long been an institution that has used the strengths of its people and programs to create opportunities for its students and graduates,” said Dr. Dave Guerin, executive director of university communications at Tech.

Guerin said all members of the Tech community could use their talents to help Tech achieve its goals.

“The activities and the leadership that our students provide is part of creating this campus culture, one of excellence,” Guice said. He said a way the university made this possible was through the Dog Haul event, in which hundreds of upperclassmen came to help freshmen move into their dorms.

“In fall quarter, the university incorporates new freshmen and makes them feel welcome,” said Philip Matherne, a sophomore kinesiology major. He said the university also gave students the chance to meet and interact with a variety of people.

“You are in such close proximity with everyone,” he said, “I think it’s very easy to get involved on campus.”

Matherne said Tech students also participated in reaching out to the surrounding area.

“All the organizations send people out to be ambassadors in the community,” Matherne said.

Guice said outward focus was another aspect that the study took into consideration. He said the external focus was evident in many programs at Tech, from the work that the College of Education was doing in the region and beyond to a number of partnerships with various corporations.

“I have sensed that a lot of our faculty and students were proud to be selected, realizing it’s no crown or anything like that, but it gives us something to shoot for, and we have a chance to get there,” Guice said.

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