Over the past several years, Louisiana Tech University has earned national recognition for the educational value and high return on investment it provides for its students and graduates.  Students enrolling at Tech know they are not just going to receive an outstanding education and college experience, but they are also going to be prepared with the knowledge and skills they need to compete for the best jobs in the country and to become leaders in their fields.  The graduates Louisiana Tech is producing are a great source of pride for the university, but should also be a great source of pride for the State of Louisiana.

As an alumnus of Louisiana Tech, I believe the future can be bright for these young people and I’m confident they will enter the workforce as a shining example of what an institution like Louisiana Tech can offer companies and organizations throughout the country.  However, when I see the financial crisis Louisiana Tech and all our public higher education institutions continue to face and the enormous budget cuts they have already endured, my hope for these students and our state grows dim.

With every budget cut that is imposed on our universities, the impact that it has on students, faculty and staff, and our communities and industry partners is amplified.  It becomes more and more difficult to provide strong educational value and a superior return on investment, and for institutions like Louisiana Tech to be nationally competitive for students, faculty, and partnerships.  These budget cuts and the uncertainty they create have become dangerously commonplace and are seriously compromising the ability of our universities to fulfill their missions and achieve their goals.

I believe this special legislative session represents a crossroads for the future of higher education and especially the future of our young people as they pursue their educational and career dreams.  The ripple effect of the higher education funding decisions that are made on behalf of our institutions and the citizens they serve will reach every region, every community, every business and organization, and every person in this state.

Higher education CANNOT endure any further cuts and we must work together with our elected leaders to restore confidence in the promise of a brighter future through educational attainment.  I ask all my fellow Louisiana Tech alumni and those concerned about our future to join me in appealing to the legislature throughout this special session and into the 2017 regular session to make sure higher education funding is a priority and becomes a pathway to a better tomorrow for every college-bound student in Louisiana.

Ryan Kilpatrick

Louisiana Tech Alumnus 2002