Twenty years ago, I was a junior faculty member at USL (as the university was known then). President Authement personally helped me and nurtured my research and academic career. It was 10 years later, when Oxford University in England wanted a specialist for computer integration, they invited me. When the oil rich country UAE wanted a specialist to start an engineering education program (they had the wherewithal to choose anyone, worldwide) they selected me. Because Dr. Authement supported my career, I was able to represent Acadiana and UL in these assignments.
I remember working alongside Dr. Authement to get funding for Rougeou Hall. We were out there in Baton Rouge, personally lobbying the Legislature, including Sen. Armand Brinkhaus of the Education Committee. This was during the late '80s, when oil prices were a low $20 and the state of Louisiana was having financial difficulties. But we were successful in getting the funding for Rougeou Hall, one of the few capital improvement projects during those difficult times. In addition, Dr. Authement worked tirelessly alongside us faculty members to implement the Apparel Computer Integrated Manufacturing Center and the Louisiana Productivity Center.
It was his leadership (along with high caliber academic leaders like professors Bill Mueller, Wayne Denton and Steve Landry) that started a special scholarship program to increase the enrollment of women in engineering. And we were miles ahead of Lawrence H. Summers, former president of Harvard, in his analysis of women in engineering education. But unlike him, we did not say women were inferior; we encouraged and assisted women to apply to our department and were able to increase the enrollment of women in engineering. We reversed a negative trend that even Harvard could not accomplish!
The intricacies of the horse farm controversy are many. However, many, including myself, owe our careers to President Authement. And in return, we have brought significant business investments, honor and international acclaim to Acadiana and the University of Louisiana.
God Bless Ray Authement.
Black Friday shopping begins; Pope visiting Turkey; oil prices decline and more national and international news for Friday, November 28, 2014.
Friday's Blogs from the Bog!
The fight to clean up Lafayette Parish could get some added ammunition with two ordinances up for votes Tuesday by the City-Parish Council targeting litter-bugs.
By striking a deal to lessen the blow of health insurance changes on state workers, school employees and retirees, Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration lowered the volume of criticism but gave itself and local school boards a new budget headache.
With the airport tax coming up for a parishwide vote in about a week, the Broussard City Council and its mayor have come out in support of the proposal.
Protesters rallied peacefully in several Louisiana cities in the wake of the Missouri grand jury decision not to indict a police officer in the fatal shooting of Michal Brown.
The U.S. rep billed LSU for work allegedly performed on the same days Congress voted on major legislation and held important committee hearings on energy and the ACA.
Abysmally low participation by the public has prompted the council to scuttle the 2014 survey with plans to simplify it and try again next year.
The village now says the ordinance will likely be overturned and authorities will more vigorously enforce existing leash laws.
Bill Cassidy cast an early ballot Tuesday, seeking to draw renewed attention to a race that has fallen off newspaper front pages and away from people's minds as they plan holiday meals and shopping schedules.
Battered all night by Baltimore's relentless pass rush, Drew Brees could feel his protection collapsing and Terrell Suggs getting ahold of him as he urgently unloaded a pass to the right flat toward tight end Jimmy Graham.
After a convincing defeat at the polls on Nov. 4, Earl “Nickey” Picard has decided to let bygones be bygones with his former right-hand man Brian Pope, announcing his support for his former employee’s runoff bid to become Lafayette’s next city marshal.
Saturday the athletic department did everything possible to ensure the 2014 Ragin’ Cajun seniors remembered fondly their last home game. Rain and lightning never arrived but turbulence did in the form of the Appalachian State Mountaineers.
Even stranger than the Republican Party’s decision to hold a “unity rally” earlier this month for Congressman Bill Cassidy in a Baton Rouge bar, Huey’s Bar, was the fact that the establishment was named after Louisiana’s most famous Democrat.
Bar Code is not a gay bar.
After failing to pass a medical marijuana bill last year, state Sen. Fred Mills, R-Parks, is telling supporters he will return in 2015 with legislation that focuses on different applications like oils and pills.
Voters, obviously, are not yet tuned into the 2015 ballot, despite the intriguing races it will host.
By now, the story of how longtime LSU coach Dale Brown discovered Shaquille O'Neal has been told many times: Brown happened upon a massive 13-year-old at an army base in Germany, stayed in touch with him and eventually became like a second father.
Fate simply wasn't ready to give the New Orleans Saints a break from longtime nemesis Steve Smith.
Lafayette Police have had a busy day.
Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration will use $130 million in patchwork financing from a tax amnesty program, insurance settlement, uninsured motorist penalties and other excess funds to close most of the state's midyear budget deficit.
Democratic U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu said she disagrees with President Barack Obama's actions on immigration, hoping the latest controversy doesn't worsen her campaign difficulties.
Gay-rights advocates challenging Louisiana's same-sex marriage ban announced Thursday that they have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review their case before it is heard by a federal appeals court.
Thinking himself the “son of God,” the man charged with the 2013 killing of an officer of the Chitimacha Tribal Police will not stand trial following a ruling Thursday on his mental competency.
Either Saints coach Sean Payton doesn't want to tip Baltimore off as to who'll start in New Orleans' secondary on Monday night, or he really doesn't know yet.