Tech highlighted during Jindal’s visit

Nov 13, 2009 | General News

During a tour of Louisiana Tech”s campus Tuesday afternoon, Gov. Bobby Jindal pointed to the school as a model that other state universities could follow as the state examines the structure of higher education.

“This is the first of multiple visits,” Jindal said. “We will be going to other campuses as well. We chose to come here first to highlight several of the things that have been done especially well at Louisiana Tech.”

The tour started in the lobby of Wyly Tower of Learning following a private meeting with Tech President Dan Reneau, other university officials and Ruston businessman James Davison, who is also a member of the Postsecondary Education Review Commission formed by the legislature to study higher education in the state.

Tech President Dan Reneau (left) and Louisiana Governor Bobby JindalAt three different stops on the tour, students and faculty, standing in front of displays and models, explained their research to the governor. At a fourth stop, startup company officials, some Tech faculty and former students, talked about how ideas for their company evolved from academic projects.

The first stop on the campus tour was at the Center for Entrepreneurship and Information Technology to view the Eco-Car, a student-built prototype that can get more than 150 miles on a gallon of fuel. Here students explained how the car was developed and features that made it fuel-efficient.

They continued the tour in the rotunda of the Biomedical Engineering building and the Institute for Micromanufacturing where students and faculty talked about a number of research projects with industry applications. Also in that building, they visited the Biomedical Ideas Room and the Humana Enterprise Center which houses several startup companies.

“We have to reform higher education and part of that means boosting graduation rates, investing in new areas of excellence and making sure that our schools are connecting to economic development,” Jindal said. “Tech is doing a great job of taking ideas out of the classroom and the laboratory and turning those ideas into new jobs, new companies and new opportunities for our kids to stay in Louisiana.”

Jindal praised Tech for developing over the years what he called “unique areas of excellence.”

“You”ve seen some examples today — not a comprehensive list; but, for example, the Institute for Micromanufacturing,” he said. “We”ve seen some of the research projects in entrepreneurship.”

He said this is something he promoted when he was president of the University of Louisiana System.

“I am very pleased that Gov. Jindal has identified Louisiana Tech University as a model for higher education in our state,” Dr. Reneau said. “His acknowledgment of our efforts and our vision is a great source of encouragement. Louisiana Tech continues to be recognized as an institution of academic and research excellence in the state and throughout the region.

“We look forward to working with the governor to strengthen the quality of higher education in Louisiana.”

Written by Reggie Owens