Louisiana Tech University, located in Ruston, Louisiana is a coeducational public institution of higher learning with an enrollment of 10,950 students in the 08-09 year. First instituted as the Industrial Institute and College of Louisiana in 1894, and then as Louisiana Polytechnic Institute in 1921, it is perhaps best known for its engineering programs and its athletics, especially men's football and women's basketball. Louisiana Tech has since 1970 been classified as a university and is attended by students from 46 states and 68 countries.
Louisiana Tech operates on the quarter system while awarding semester hours. Three quarters (fall, winter, spring) equal two semesters at other universities. Louisiana Tech operates a satellite campus at Barksdale Air Force Base in Bossier City and maintains an academic relationship with Grambling State University, the area's historically African-American university located a few miles west of Ruston in Grambling.
After a short time, the name of the school was changed to Louisiana Industrial Institute. During its first decade, the school was limited to two structures, the main building or Old Main, and a mechanics building, but during the 1910s and 1920s, additional structures were built, including dormitories and a dining hall. In 1921, the state constitutional convention changed the name of the school to the Louisiana Polytechnic Institute, and gave it permission to grant the Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees.
In 1927, the library had outgrown Old Main and was given its own building. During the 1930s, the South Campus was constructed for the School of Agriculture. In 1935, the first football stadium was completed. On January 6, 1936, Old Main burned to the ground. The modern library stands on its site.
During WWII, the school played host to several military organizations, including a Naval officer training unit.
On February 1, 1965, Louisiana Tech was integrated when James Earl Potts and Bertha Bradford, the first black students, enrolled.
In 1970, the school's named was changed again, to Louisiana Tech University, reflecting its new status as a doctorate granting institution.
Dr. Daniel Reneau has led the University as President since 1987 and the length of his tenure has now nearly equaled that of former longtime President F. Jay Taylor, who led the university through a period of expansion from 1962 through 1987.
Following Hurricane Katrina Louisiana Tech, like many other universities, opened its doors to those displaced by the storm. Students and non-students alike were welcomed into the Ruston community while the reconstruction efforts continued in southern Louisiana. Affected students were offered deferred tuition while non-students were allowed to stay in a dorm previously scheduled for demolition. Caruthers Hall, a dorm that had been closed the spring quarter before Katrina was reopened to house family members of Tech students that were forced to evacuate. Additionally, the Bulldog athletic program also opened up the football facilities including weight rooms, practice fields, and stadium to the Tulane Green Wave.
A similar situation arose during Hurricane Gustav. The Louisiana School system has since created a Sister School Evacuation Plan which Partnered McNeese State University with Louisiana Tech University. The dorms were opened to students from McNeese for a period of 2 weeks.
The College of Business is made up of the Departments of Accounting, Economics & Finance, Graduate Studies & Research, Management & Information Systems, and Marketing & Analysis. It grants the Bachelor of Science in Accounting, Business Administration, Business Economics, Finance, Computer Information Systems, Management/Business Management and Entrepreneurship, Management/Human Resources, and Marketing. Through the Graduate School, it grants the Doctor of Business Administration, Master of Business Administration, and Master of Professional Accountancy.
The College of Engineering and Science has an interdisciplinary structure; as such, each faculty member may be associated with one or more degree programs within the College. It grants the Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Chemistry, Civil Engineering, Computer Science, Construction Engineering Technology, Electrical Engineering, Electrical Engineering Technology, Industrial Engineering, Mathematics and Statistics, Mechanical Engineering, Nanosystems Engineering, and Physics. Through the Graduate School, it grants the Master of Science in Engineering and Technology Management, Engineering, Microsystems Engineering, Molecular Science and Nanotechnology, Computer Science, Mathematics, and Physics.
The College of Engineering and Science also confers the Doctor of Philosophy in Computational Analysis and Modeling, Engineering, and Biomedical Engineering, with a joint MD/PhD program with the Louisiana State University at Shreveport Medical Center. Beginning in 2008, the College will also confer a PhD in Engineering Physics.
The College of Education is made up of the departments of Curriculum, Instruction and Leadership, Health and Exercise Science, and Psychological and Behavioral Sciences. It grants the Bachelor of Arts in Art Education, Educational Services, English Education, French Education, Social Studies Education, and Psychology. It grants the Bachelor of Science in Early/Childhood Education, Elementary Education, Special Education, Middle School Education Math and Science, Agriculture Education, Biology Education, Business Education, Chemistry Education, Earth Science Education, Mathematics Education, Physics Education, Speech Education, Speech, Language, and Hearing Therapy, Health and Physical Education, and Kinesiology and Health Promotion. It confers the Bachelor of Music Education (Instrumental or Vocal.)
Through the Graduate School, the College of Education confers the Doctor of Education in Curriculum and Instruction, and Educational Leadership, the Master of Education in Education Leadership, and Education, the Master of Arts in Teaching in Secondary Education, Early Childhood Education, Elementary Education, Middle School Education Mathematics, Middle School Education Science, Multiple Levels, and Special Education, the Master of Science in Curriculum and Instruction, and Health and Exercise Science, the Master of Arts in Counseling and Guidance, Educational Psychology, and Industrial/Organizational Psychology, and the Doctor of Philosophy in Counseling Psychology.
The College of Applied and Natural Sciences is made up of the Departments of Agricultural Science, Biological Sciences, Forestry, Health Information Management, Human Ecology, and Nursing. It confers the Associate of Science in Nursing, and the Bachelor of Science in Forestry, Environmental Science, Agricultural Business, Animal Science, Biology, Medical Technology, Geographic Information Science, Wildlife Conservation, Health Information Administration, Health Information Technology, Merchandising and Consumer Studies, Family and Child Studies, Family and Consumer Sciences Education, and Nutrition and Dietetics.
Through the Graduate School, the College confers the Master of Science in Biology, Family and Consumer Sciences, and Nutrition and Dietetics, and the Master of Health Information Management.
The College of Liberal Arts is made up of the Departments of Architecture, Art, History, Journalism, Literature and Language, Performing Arts, Professional Aviation, Social Science, and Speech. The College confers the Associate of General Studies, the Bachelor of General Studies, the Bachelor of Arts in History, Journalism, English, French, Spanish, Music, Geography, Political Science, Sociology, Speech, and Preprofessional Speech-Language Pathology, the Bachelor of Science in Architecture, Professional Aviation and Aviation Management, the Bachelor of Interior Design, the Bachelor of Fine Arts, and the Bachelor of Music.
Through the Graduate School, the college confers the Master of Architecture, Master of Fine Arts, Master of Arts in History, English, Speech, and Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, and the Doctor of Audiology.
Louisiana Tech requires students to live on campus for 7 quarters or 80 credit hours, in turn coming to a little over two years, unless deemed a commuter. Housing is an issue on campus, and a building program is underway to move from traditional dormitories to apartment-style complexes. The first of these, University Park, was opened in 2005 and houses up to 450 students. The second phase will be opening for Fall 2008.Grambling State University operate an ROTC exchange program. Louisiana Tech operates the Air Force ROTC while Grambling operates the Army ROTC, and students from either school may participate in either program.
Since 2006, Louisiana Tech has played host to Summer Leadership School for Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps cadets from public school systems all over the United States. It is operated by normal USAF retirees, but mostly by college level Cadet Training Officers. These sessions are held towards the end of the month of June for nine days.
Currently Louisiana Tech sponsors men's intercollegiate baseball, basketball, cross country, football, golf, indoor track and outdoor track along with women's intercollegiate basketball, bowling, indoor track, outdoor track, volleyball, soccer, softball and tennis.
Louisiana Tech currently competes as an NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision institution in the Western Athletic Conference. The football team has competed at the Division I FBS level since 1989 after previously competing at both the Division I Football Championship Subdivision and Division II levels. Notable alumni, including Charles Wyly, Willie Roaf, Karl Malone, and Terry Bradshaw, have made significant donations to enhance Tech's athletic facilities and sense of institutional sports history.
The women's basketball program is notable for having won several NCAA national championships, including a title in the first NCAA National Women's Basketball Championship in 1982. The Lady Techsters' most recent title came in 1988. Until they failed to make the 2007 tournament the Lady Techsters had participated in every NCAA postseason women's basketball tournament going back to 1982. Alumnae of the program include WNBA All-Stars Teresa Weatherspoon, Betty Lennox, and Cheryl Ford, as well as Kim Mulkey, the first (and, as of 2008, the only) person to have won NCAA Division I women's basketball titles as a player and coach.