Louisiana Tech Administrative Position – Louisiana Tech/LSU-Shreveport Merger

Mar 8, 2012 | General News

Dear Louisiana Tech Family and Friends,
If you have opened a newspaper, watched a television newscast, or perused a local media website over the past couple of weeks, you have surely seen coverage of a proposed merger of Louisiana Tech University and LSU-Shreveport in the UL System, which was recommended in a study conducted by Eva Klein and Associates and approved by the Louisiana Board of Regents.  As you might expect, this has created some uncertainty among the constituents of both institutions and generated a number of questions about how it might alter the higher education landscape, both in Shreveport-Bossier and Ruston.
Although many issues are still being discussed and questions have yet to be answered, we are very excited about the possibilities that exist with this merger and the opportunities it could provide for people in Ruston, Shreveport/Bossier, and all points in between.  Its impact would be felt up and down the I-20 corridor, and its synergies would create new economic development and community enrichment opportunities for all of north Louisiana.  In essence, we believe this merger would allow our institutions to grow and achieve more together, for the betterment of the communities and constituents we serve, than could ever be achieved individually.
As important as it is to share our position and express the reasons we support this merger, it is equally important for us to dispel
any rumors or misinformation that could present unnecessary obstacles.  One such inaccuracy is that Louisiana Tech has expressed an interest in transferring to the LSU System in lieu of the proposed merger.  I want to be clear in stating that we are not interested in considering or pursuing this alternative.  Simply transferring Louisiana Tech to the LSU System without a physical presence in the Shreveport/Bossier community contributes nothing to the growth of higher education in north Louisiana and, therefore, is not an option.  We are excited about the prospects of a merger between Louisiana Tech and LSU-Shreveport and believe this recommendation approved unanimously by the Board of Regents provides opportunities that cannot be realized through a stopgap measure of transferring Louisiana Tech to another system.
The support and backing that this merger has already received from newspapers and media outlets around the state has been nothing
short of amazing. We have been especially encouraged by advocacy of media outlets from outside of the Ruston and Shreveport/Bossier markets that have tabbed this merger as a “win-win” for all of Louisiana.  We feel that it’s important to note that Louisiana Tech did not initiate this proposal; rather, it was the result of a comprehensive study commissioned by the Shreveport-Bossier Imperative, a concerned group of business and community leaders, and the State Board of Regents.  It’s a genuine source of pride and inspiration that so many recognize the strength of Louisiana Tech and are looking to us for leadership and progress.
The positive impacts and effects of this merger are not unilateral. We believe very strongly that an academic and research presence benefitting Shreveport/Bossier will concurrently create new activity and growth opportunities for Ruston and Lincoln Parish.  From campus life to athletic
events to cultural activities, the energy that exists on both campuses will only be multiplied.  Neither campus would be diminished; in fact, both
should grow substantially.  Ruston and Lincoln Parish could enjoy higher visibility, new business interests, and a closer relationship with Louisiana’s third largest metropolitan area as a result of this merger.  The Shreveport-Bossier area would benefit from a comprehensive university presence that would meet the needs of the underserved there.  Expansion in engineering, business, education and health care curricula, both graduate and undergraduate, could occur in a short period of time.
Make no mistake, Louisiana Tech is committed to the future growth and economic development in Ruston and to endeavors that contribute to the advancement of the institution and the community.  A vibrant campus in Shreveport, a larger metropolitan area, would add a dimension
to the university and would greatly benefit future economic development in that area, as well.
It is important to understand that this proposal is not about simply merging two institutions to create a larger, singular entity.  Rather, it’s about people and organizations throughout north Louisiana that are no longer satisfied with the status quo and who seek to create new opportunities and a brighter future for the entire region.  They see Louisiana Tech, its strength of leadership, vision for the future, and commitment to region-wide growth, as the best option for a new beginning.
We believe wholeheartedly that should this merger occur, it would be equally advantageous for Louisiana Tech, Ruston, and Shreveport-Bossier City.  That being said, we want to assure all of our friends and supporters that we will not consider any action that inhibits our ability to serve the needs of our students and our community or to continue to grow and to pursue our institution’s vision for the future.
A merger would undoubtedly be a challenging opportunity; this administration stands ready and committed to working through every detail with a dedication to the best result for all involved.  Finally, we express sincere appreciation to the faculty, staff, alumni, community partners, and fervent supporters of Louisiana Tech University.  Your unwavering commitment and advocacy have helped to advance Louisiana Tech to this
point.  You should take pride in the fact that the merger recommendation that has been made was due, in large part, to the confidence that business and community leaders throughout the region have in the University you’ve helped to build and its potential for improving higher education for all in north Louisiana.
We sincerely hope that this provides you with a better feel for Louisiana Tech’s position and expectations regarding this proposed merger.  If we can help clarify anything or answer any questions, please feel free to contact us.
We are Louisiana Tech now…Louisiana Tech tomorrow…and Louisiana Tech forever!
Dr. Daniel D. Reneau,  President
Dr. Ken Rea, Vice President for Academic Affairs
Mr. Joe Thomas, Vice President for Finance and
Dr. Les Guice, Vice President for Research and
Dr. Terry McConathy, Executive Vice President and Dean of
the Graduate School
Dr. Jim King, Vice President for Student Affairs
Ms. Corre Stegall, Vice President for University