This item originally appeared in the September 23, 2004 issue of The Tech Talk.
By VALERIE METREJEAN
With a new school term approaching, Tech President Dr. Dan Reneau shared with the faculty and staff the achievements of the past year and things to look forward to in the upcoming years.
"Tech has come a long way," Reneau said. "Looking back on the past years helps us see that. Our faculty is here for the students. I have strong ties to this campus, and I want Tech to keep growing and continue to be as successful as I know it can be."
With the additions of University Park, the new apartment style on-campus housing facilities; Hale Hall, a new admissions and architecture building; and the Ropp Center, a faculty building, Tech has seen expansion within the campus.
"The idea is to make Ruston more of a college town," said Jim King, vice president of student affairs. "Tech has a renewed cooperation with Ruston that is going to bring city and school together to make the whole city stronger."
Problems occurring in Ruston or at Tech are being solved with common solutions that will assist in making Ruston a college town.
A pedestrian path from campus to downtown Ruston is being planned to make retail shops and restaurants more accessible.
With the increase of student enrollment, parking is always an issue.
Tech has gained the rights to Leisure Lane, the old bowling alley at the east of campus, which King said they plan to use for parking.
"We have a 10-year plan, which we are still developing, that consists of more ways to give students a university that they can be proud of," Reneau said. "When students receive their diploma we want it to be earned and respected. Our objective for the future is to have a retention rate of 80 percent and a graduation rate of 70 percent."
According to percentages Reneau mentioned in his address, Tech is already thriving in these areas.
"My vision is to go from a very good school to a great school, and I know we can do it," he said.
Reneau's enthusiasm about the future of Tech was echoed by many of the faculty and students.
"Tech has changed so much since freshman year," said Kristen O'Neal, a junior nutrition and dietetics major. "There are many things going on here, and I'm glad to be a part of it."