It’s hard to imagine our university as anything other
than Louisiana Tech University.
Tech President Dan Reneau has confirmed that the
possibility of combining Tech with LSU-Shreveport and LSU Health Sciences
Center at Shreveport is being discussed on the state-board level.
Whether or not this is the best option for Tech has not
been decided yet. The one thing that is certain to students, though, is that
the history and heritage of Tech needs to be preserved, regardless of the name
of the university.
Tech has become a home away from home to most of its
students. The smaller, homey atmosphere has attracted students from 50 states
and 70 countries to its campus.
The thought of becoming LSU-Ruston scares many students
because they feel becoming a part of the LSU System will destroy the community
that has been built at this university.
“The whole idea of Louisiana Tech University becoming
part of LSU defeats the purpose of not going to LSU,” Katherine Fuller, a
junior English education major, said. “I feel like Tech has built up prestige.
When you say Louisiana Tech University, people know what you’re talking about.
It would be giving up to give in to LSU and become a part of
Students have also grown fond of Tech’s mascot, the
bulldog, and can’t imagine wearing purple and gold to football games.
Tech is nationally recognized for several of its sports,
including the women’s basketball team. How will the Lady Techsters put Ruston
on the map if we are no longer the Lady Techsters and Ruston, but just the
Tigers and a division of a school in Baton Rouge?
Some of these arguments may seem trivial to officials,
but to students, the heritage and the history of the university make it home,
and changing that history is a scary thought.
But there are also advantages of joining the LSU System.
Affiliating with Tech has become more favorable for
schools in the LSU System since Tech received its Tier 3 ranking last year and
after Tech reached a doctoral II research level, Reneau said.
Reneau said Tech and LSU-HSC have a close relationship
already. He said the combination of the two programs would lead to “excellent
research centers and fine doctoral programs.”
He also said joining the LSU System would give enhanced
opportunities for funding.
At any rate, Reneau said there will be no outcome in the
immediate future. Students can continue to contemplate the future of their
university, while the administration carefully weighs the options of becoming a
member of the LSU System.