Louisiana Tech University, often referred to as Louisiana Tech, LA Tech, or Tech, is a coeducational public research university in Ruston, Louisiana, United States. Louisiana Tech is designated as a Tier 1 national university by the 2013 U.S. News & World Report college rankings and is the only Tier 1 national university in the nine-member University of Louisiana System. As a designated space grant college, member of the Southeastern Universities Research Association, member of the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities, and Carnegie Research University with high research activity (RU/H), Louisiana Tech conducts research with ongoing projects funded by agencies such as NASA, the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, and the Department of Defense. Louisiana Tech is one of only 35 comprehensive research universities in the nation and the only university in Louisiana to be designated as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education and Research by the National Security Agency (NSA) and the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The university is known for its engineering programs.
Louisiana Tech University opened as The Industrial Institute and College of Louisiana in 1894 during the Second Industrial Revolution. The original mission of the college was for the education of white students in the arts and sciences for the purpose of developing an industrial economy in post-Reconstruction Louisiana. Four years later, the state constitution changed the school's name to the Louisiana Industrial Institute. In 1921, the college changed its name to the Louisiana Polytechnic Institute to reflect its evolution from a trade school to a larger and more capable technical institute. Under the leadership of Dr. F. Jay Taylor, the college continued to grow and change over time. The Louisiana Polytechnic Institute became desegregated in the 1960s, and officially changed its name to Louisiana Tech University in 1970.
Louisiana Tech enrolled 11,581 students in five academic colleges during the Fall 2011 academic quarter including 2,444 students in the graduate school. In addition to the main campus in Ruston, Louisiana Tech holds classes at the Louisiana Tech University Shreveport Center, Cyber Innovation Center in Bossier City, and Barksdale Air Force Base. Tech also maintains an Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) Detachment 305.
Louisiana Tech fields 16 varsity NCAA Division I sports teams (7 men's, 9 women's teams) and has been a member of the Western Athletic Conference since 2001. The university has accepted an invitation to join Conference USA starting in 2013. The university is known for its football team and Lady Techsters women's basketball program which won three national championship titles (1981, 1982, 1988) and made 13 Final Four appearances in the program's history.
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