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Dear campus community.
Good Saturday morning.
As our state enters Phase One of its reopening plans, Louisiana Tech is also executing plans for face-to-face instruction in the fall. We’re optimistic that our campus will be able to respond to the needs of our faculty, staff, and students as we do so.
Our Incident Response Team (IRT) has been working since the pandemic began to help our campus respond to the crisis as well as begin to move through it. We’ve put in place new standards for cleaning and sanitizing, and we’ve created a more robust campus infrastructure that empowers our students to learn in many different ways. Our innovative Tech Spirit has been on display in classrooms and home offices, and I thank each of you for the part you’ve played in our crisis response.
As a reminder, Phase One for Louisiana Tech will continue until June 5. At that time, we’ll hear from Gov. John Bel Edwards about the move to Phase Two.
Phase One for Tech looks much like out Stay at Home response did. Teleworking will remain mandatory for personnel non-essential to on-campus operations except as otherwise directed by supervisors. Those who are considered high-risk to COVID19 or who live with a high-risk family member will still be given the opportunity to work from home where possible. Our Division heads will be responsible for communicating with employees regarding on-campus or remote work expectations.
We will focus on good hygiene and sanitation, maintaining physical distancing guidelines, reinforcing proper handwashing procedures, and increasing our cleaning and disinfection processes. We advocate for the use of face coverings when in public areas and when physical distancing is not possible, and Tech is providing masks for employees.
We’ll ask that you closely observe your own health and do not come on campus when you are feeling ill or have a fever. The better we respond to these guidelines now, the quicker we will be back on campus.
Student Managed Investment Fund
I’ve spent a lot of time in my daily communications talking about how we are responding to COVID19 issues, but there are also many positive things happening on campus – providing unparalleled education in the face of a global crisis.
Each year in the College of Business, a group of students manages an investment fund as a part of one of their Finance classes. The Student Managed Investment Fund (SMIF) is driven by College of Business undergraduate finance students who are responsible for all investment research, portfolio positions and reporting.
The $1 million fund provides real-world experience in managing a long-term investment portfolio with an annual growth objective relative to appropriate benchmarks. The SMIF provides the College of Business with funds for technology upgrades, student travel and other program enhancements.
This year has been a difficult one for investments, but these students learned more through the crisis than they might have in a bull market. Despite the dramatic volatility in global markets, the SMIF managed to post gains beating their benchmark, only recently dipping below the benchmark because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
These students presented their results to the SMIF advisory board this week – via Zoom, of course – and board members were full of positive feedback for the students. Remember, the students are investing real money, so any losses and gains truly matter to the College of Business and Louisiana Tech. I’m so proud that these students were able to create a diversified portfolio that responded well despite economic challenges.
Take time today to relax and enjoy the weekend. We’ll be focused on finals next week, so taking time this weekend will help all of us prepare for the busy week ahead.