Louisiana Tech to make student engagement, success a campus-wide effort

Jul 12, 2010 | Applied and Natural Sciences, Business, Education, Engineering and Science, Liberal Arts, Research and Development

Louisiana Tech University President Dan Reneau is asking his faculty and staff to engage in renewing plans that will keep the institution on track for achieving its ambitious goals during these transformative times for higher education. Reneau is using Tech 2020, Louisiana Tech’s long-range strategic plan, as the cornerstone of an initiative to involve the entire campus community in the execution of the institution’s recruitment, retention, and student success strategies.  “One of Louisiana Tech’s greatest strengths has always been the quality of its students,” says Reneau.  “Their success, both during and after college, will impact not only the future of our University, but also the future of our region and our state.  As a campus community, we have a responsibility to do everything we can to continue recruiting, educating, and graduating the next generation of Louisiana’s leaders.” “Tech 2020 in 2010 provides a foundation for this effort and a well-developed strategy for how our faculty and staff will contribute to achieving these objectives.” Tech 2020 in 2010 is Reneau’s initiative to renew and refocus the original Tech 2020 strategic plan – first developed in 2005 – to ensure the university stays in tune with academic, economic, and research trends in the state, region, and nation. Specifically, it will focus on the development and implementation of strategies to improve student recruitment, retention, success, enrollment, and diversity.  It will also seek to establish closer relationships with two-year institutions and broaden participation in research and development partnerships and activities. “We have very loyal and dedicated faculty and staff who are committed to Louisiana Tech,” said Dr. Les Guice, vice president for research and development and co-chair of the Tech 2020 Steering Committee. “They are forward-looking and respond to the challenges to advance the institution with creative energy.  We know they will continue to work together to achieve the goals of Tech 2020 and provide our students with an unparalleled education.” The Tech 2020 Steering Committee has been working for the past several months to develop the framework for Tech 2020 in 2010, building on the themes and primary strategies of the original plan.  Under the oversight of the steering committee, a series of work groups, comprised of representatives from all areas of the campus, will be assigned to identify strengths and weaknesses in the university’s current student engagement and support programs and to make recommendations for improvement. “Tech 2020 is Tech’s aggressive roadmap to be recognized as a top public research university with an unparalleled integrated educational experience,” said Dr. Terry McConathy, executive vice president, dean of the Graduate School, and co-chair of the Tech 2020 Steering Committee. “The University continues its tradition of positioning its resources strategically to strengthen the impact of our intellectual, economic, and outreach initiatives.” The potential regional and statewide impacts of Tech 2020 in 2010, as it pertains to student enrollment and graduation rates, can also be seen in a 2009 economic impact study conducted by Applied Research Technology Corporation of Baton Rouge. The study shows that Louisiana Tech students have an annual statewide spending impact of $145 million and contribute over 56 hours of volunteerism per student, per year.  Over the past ten years, 65% of Tech’s graduates have stayed in Louisiana with total earnings of nearly $1 billion. “The transformation of higher education in Louisiana is taking place before our eyes,” says Reneau.  “The faculty and staff of Louisiana Tech have chosen to use this transformation as an opportunity to strengthen their institution through a collective and progressive recruitment and retention effort.” “Through this approach, the students, the region, and the state of Louisiana will reap the greatest rewards.”