La. Tech finalist selected

Leslie Guice
Leslie Guice

The Louisiana Tech Presidential Search Committee narrowed its applicant pool to one on Thursday in choosing Leslie Guice as its sole finalist.

Guice is scheduled to interview with the University of Louisiana Board of Supervisors at 9 a.m. Tuesday in Baton Rouge.

The committee’s decision came down to choosing between Guice, who is Louisiana Tech’s vice president for research and development, and Duance Hrncir, president of the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology.

UL spokeswoman Jackie Tisdell said the committee made its selection after interviewing both candidates and after getting feedback from faculty, staff, students and community leaders who met with both on the Lousiana Tech campus Wednesday.

In a prepared statement, UL board Chair Wayne Parker said Guice’s statewide reputation, track record in higher education and the support he got from the campus made him the best choice.

Guice began his career at Louisiana Tech 34 years ago as an assistant professor in the Department of Civil Engineering and Science before working his way up to become dean of the College of Engineering and Science, Tisdell said in a news release.

Guice serves dual roles as vice president for research and development and executive vice president of the university.

He has a Bachelor of Arts degree in architecture and a Master of Science degree both from Louisiana Tech and a doctor of philosophy in civil engineering from Texas A&M University.

Following Guice’s interview Tuesday, Tisdell said the UL board could decide to install Guice as Louisiana Tech’s next president the same day.

The board did the same earlier this month when they named University of Texas system administrator Sandra Woodley as president of the UL system, just a few hours after interviewing her.

If Guice is the pick at Louisiana Tech, he will replace longtime President Dan Reneuau, who announced his retirement in September after a 50-year association with the school as a student, educator and administrator.

Reneau’s retirement is effective June 30, bringing to a close 26 years as the university’s chief.

In a statement announcing his retirement, Reneau said he’ll continue to support the university through the establishment of a think-tank affiliated with the Louisiana Tech University Foundation.

The think tank will be advisory in nature and will help “support and advance” the university, Reneau said.

“I’m not going away. I have a deep passion for and commitment to Louisiana Tech, and will continue to work on its behalf,” Reneau said in the statement.

Louisiana Tech is part of the UL system of 92,000 students and includes the University of New Orleans, Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond, the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, McNeese State University in Lake Charles, Louisiana Tech in Ruston and four other schools around the state.