Our Views: A commitment paying off

An honor for Joseph Savoie, president of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, is deserved not only for him but for the persistent effort of the university over many years in the area of computer sciences.

Savoie received the tenth annual Governor’s Technology Award for Best Application of Technology in Louisiana, presented by the Louisiana Technology Council. The award notes the role that Savoie played in the creation of a Center for Visual and Decision Informatics, faculty development for online teaching, and the launch of an Enterprise Resource Planning system.

The National Science Foundation has recognized the Center for Visual and Decision Informatics as the nation’s only NSF Center of Excellence in the area of “big data.” CVDI is the first such NSF center in Louisiana and is one of only 17 NSF-funded centers in computer science. ULL partnered with Drexel University to create the CVDI.

The university’s innovations in computer science and education dates back to the early 1960s, and the school’s leadership backed that effort financially through good times and bad — and there were a lot of both under Savoie’s predecessor, Ray Authement. The investment is paying off, but the need for that long view was a frequent theme of Savoie’s long tenure as state commissioner of higher education.

We commend Savoie and the university for its commitment, which by persistence as well as quality is helping to fuel tech-based economic development in the state.