Guice named Tech president
Les Guice has been named Louisiana Tech University's next president.
Guice, executive vice president and vice president for research and development at Louisiana Tech, was unanimously appointed by the University of Louisiana System Board of Supervisors on Tuesday morning in Baton Rouge.
He will take office as the university's 14th president on July 1.
"It's incredibly rewarding and satisfying to be selected to fill this position," Guice said. "I have a deep passion for Louisiana Tech and for higher education. Now I'll have even more of a role in shaping its future."
Guice, a Louisiana Tech alumnus, has spent the past 34 years of his career at the university in various faculty and administrative positions.
He will take the place of President Dan Reneau, who announced in September that he will retire at the end of June after 26 years in the position.
Reneau, who was present for Tuesday's meeting, said he was pleased with the board's decision.
"The board could not have done a better job of reaching out to applicants nationwide, thoroughly vetting and interviewing the candidates, and selecting the absolute best person to lead Louisiana Tech into the future," Reneau said. "I am extremely happy for Les Guice and believe that he is the right person, at the right time, and in the right position for Louisiana Tech."
Guice was also joined at Tuesday's meeting by his wife, Kathy, and various faculty, staff and administrators from Louisiana Tech.
"This is truly an honor. Kathy and I have enjoyed going through this process. We have received tremendous support from the Tech community and across the state. I appreciate the board and look forward to working with you to advance Louisiana Tech University in the future," Guice said as he addressed the board.
He said one of his first priorities as president will be to reach out and connect with Louisiana Tech alumni, business leaders and corporations to build "deeper and stronger partners for the future of Louisiana Tech."
Guice said his vision for the university's future is to maintain Louisiana Tech's status as a top national research institution and one that provides an "unmatched" educational opportunity for students.
Guice was one of nine qualified candidates from across the nation who applied for the Louisiana Tech president position. In early November, he was selected as one of two semifinalists who would interview on the Louisiana Tech campus, along with Duane Hrncir, acting president of South Dakota School of Mines and Technology.
After interviews and meetings with the presidential search committee and campus constituents last week, the search committee unanimously selected Guice as its finalist for the Louisiana Tech presidency and recommended him to the full Board of Supervisors.
"We're 100 percent sure we selected the right person based on input from all the university stakeholders. The Tech community told us from day one of this search that they wanted Dr. Guice, and this process confirmed that he is the best leader for Louisiana Tech," said UL System Board chairman and Tech alumnus Wayne Parker.
A number of the board members spoke in support of Guice's appointment during the meeting.
"I have been involved in multiple boards and position searches, and it is very rare that all constituents agree," said board member Jimmy Faircloth, Jr. "Every single person whose opinion I value contacted me to sing your (Guice's) praises. It was extraordinary to see that support."
Board member E. Gerald "T-Boy" Hebert said, "It is my honor to welcome you (Guice) as president of Louisiana Tech University. I am very proud to have cast my vote for you."
Board member Jimmy Long Sr. echoed those sentiments.
"Over the years I have been fortunate to work with two outstanding Tech presidents: Jay Taylor and Dan Reneau. I am happy to say we have elected a third great leader for Louisiana Tech University," Long said.
Guice's relationship with Louisiana Tech spans four decades — both as a student and 34 years as faculty member and administrator. He earned a bachelor of arts in architecture in 1976 and a master of science in civil engineering in 1978, both from Louisiana Tech. Guice went on to earn a Ph.D. in civil engineering from Texas A&M University in 1986.
Guice began his professional career at Tech as an assistant professor in the department of civil engineering and worked his way up to become dean of the College of Engineering and Science. In 2004, he was appointed Louisiana Tech's vice president of research and development and led Tech's rise to a Carnegie Foundation Research University/High Research Activity (RU/H) institution and worked closely with Reneau to establish Louisiana Tech's research park, Enterprise Campus. In addition to his other duties, Louisiana Tech appointed Guice its executive vice president in 2012.
Several of Louisiana Tech's research programs and major research centers were formed, developed, and focused under Guice's leadership, including the Trenchless Technology Center, the Institute for Micromanufacturing, the Center for Entrepreneurship and Information Technology and the Center for Secure Cyberspace.