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Panelist Bio

Dr. James Caillier
Patrick F. Taylor Foundation

Dr. Caillier was born in Lafayette, Louisiana, he attended the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and earned a Bachelor of Science degree with a minor in Mathematics in 1964. Four years later he earned a Master of Science degree in Chemistry from Southern University in Baton Rouge. In 1978, he acquired the Doctor of Education degree from Louisiana State University. He is married to Jerri Raphael Caillier. They have three children: James Gerard, Ph.D., Jennifer Caillier-Boston, J.D., CPA and Sylvia Caillier-Molaison, Ph.D.

Dr. Caillier began his professional career in 1964 working for the Lafayette Parish School System. In 1970, he was appointed Assistant Professor and Director of the Division of Special Services. He was appointed Director of the Junior Division, and later to Dean of the College of General Studies at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. After becoming a full professor, he was appointed Vice President of Administrative Affairs. In 1988, he was selected as President of Delgado Community College in New Orleans. He is credited with reforming that college. The college was in disarray and was fighting for survival. In four (4) years, he corrected the problems and expanded the college with new programs and it increased the enrollment from 5,000 to almost 16,000 students and was recognized locally, regionally and nationally for his work at the college. Dr. Caillier remained there until his appointment as President of the State Colleges and Universities of Louisiana System in January 1992. He served as the President of the University of Louisiana System from January, 1992 until his retirement in 1999. The State Colleges and Universities of Louisiana System, the 14th largest system of public higher education in the nation, consisted of eight universities and five community colleges with a combined enrollment of 102,000 students and a combined annual budget of $900 million.

In 1992, Act 9 of the Louisiana Legislature created Nunez Community College in St. Bernard Parish under the governance of the Board of Trustees. Dr. Caillier served as Interim President of Nunez for (1) year (1993), in addition to his position as System President. Dr. Caillier wrote a Master Plan for a comprehensive community college system for Louisiana in 1990. He is recognized nationally for his work with community colleges. In 1997, Dr. Caillier lead a movement that successfully convinced the Louisiana Legislature, and then Governor Edwin Edwards, to rename the State Colleges and Universities Systems to ‘The University of Louisiana System’, and allowing universities in that ‘System’ to be named as follows: ‘University of Louisiana at (city of location)’; University of Southwestern Louisiana and Northeast Louisiana became, the ‘University of Louisiana at Lafayette’, and the ‘University of Louisiana at Monroe’, respectively.

Dr. Caillier has received numerous honors and awards, a few of which are highlighted below. He was awarded the Alexander P. Tureaud Black Citizens Medal, the highest honor bestowed on an individual in Louisiana by the NAACP. He has been named one of the Outstanding Young Business Men of America, received the American Legion Honor Award, and the 1991 National Council for Marketing and Public Relations (NCMPR) Pacesetter Award for Exemplary Presidential/CEO Leadership for colleges and universities. He received the National Science Award to complete a Master’s Degree in Chemistry. In 2001, he was named “An Unsung Hero” by the Clout Ministerial Alliance of Louisiana. He was recognized regionally and nationally for his work in Higher Education.

Dr. Caillier has demonstrated his involvement with the community through his many professional and civic affiliations. He has served as a Board Member for numerous organizations, including, Mayor’s Economic Development Commission, Greater Lafayette Chamber of Commerce, Select Council on Revenues and Expenditures in Louisiana’s Future (SECURE), Governor’s Commission on Education, United Way, and the Southern Consumer Education Foundation. He has served as a Board Member on the Taylor Energy Company Board of Directors, Patrick F. Taylor Foundation, and an advisory member of Premier Bank, Bank One of Louisiana, PAR (Public Affairs Research Council) Board of Directors; as well as, a New Orleans Charter Science & Math Academy School Board Member. He was President of the Lafayette Economic Authority, United Way of Lafayette, as well as the Board of Directors for Blueprint Louisiana and other organizations and Boards, including Board Member of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana and World Trade Center (New Orleans).

Dr. Caillier was a member of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools for six years and served on the Executive Committee, the American Association of Community Colleges, the Urban Commission on Education, and the American Association of State Colleges and Universities. He is a Field Reader for the U.S. Department of Education. He is a member of Alpha Phi Fraternity, the Knights of St. Peter Claver, Iberia Bank Advisory Board, Immaculate Heart of Mary Church Trustee, a member of Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity, as well as, a Louisiana State licensed Funeral Director.

He is President Emeritus of the University of Louisiana System, and Executive Director of the Patrick F. Taylor Foundation. The Foundation is primarily responsible for the creation and advocacy of the ‘Taylor Opportunity Program for Students’ (‘TOPS’) in Louisiana and 22 other states. Dr. Caillier had the lead role in the creation of ‘TOPS’ programs in Wyoming and Alaska.

He is a member of the Board of Trustees for Loyola University. He is also President of J-Cal, Inc. and Vice President of the Louisiana Legislative Black Caucus Foundation.

Current Topic

     03/18 - Making Schools Safe

Where does Louisiana stand in this national discussion?
The school shooting in Broward County Florida that took the lives of 17 people has reignited the debate over how to make our schools safe. Energized students nationwide are calling for restricted access to certain guns. Congress is considering broader background checks and age limits on gun purchases. President Donald Trump is most enthusiastic about training school staff members to carry concealed weapons.

Where does Louisiana stand in this national discussion? How would gun control proposals affect the 45% of Louisianans who own guns? What mental health services are available to prevent teenagers from acting out violently? What increased security measures should schools take and how much will they cost? Louisiana Public Square looks for answers to these questions and more on “Making Schools Safe” airing Wednesday, March 28 at 7 p.m. on LPB and WLAE in New Orleans. (Taping Tuesday, March 27.)
Learn More!
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