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Panelist Bio

Dr. Sally Clausen
Commissioner of Higher Education

In July, 2008 Dr. Sally Clausen became Louisiana’s 6th Commissioner of Higher Education. Clausen previously served as Secretary of Education for the Office of the Governor, President of Southeastern Louisiana University, and President of the University of Louisiana System.

During her first year as Commissioner of Higher Education, Dr. Clausen spearheaded the creation of a performance-based funding formula which rewards outcomes for all two- and four-year universities. Under her leadership, the Board of Regents also initiated to all students who earn an associate’s degree a “guarantee” to transfer to any four year university in the state.

Nationally, Clausen has served as the Vice President of the National Association of System Heads. She is now serving as Council of Presidents Chair for the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges, is on the Board of Directors of the Southern Regional Educational Board and is also a member of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities. Dr. Clausen is also a participant in The College Board’s Center for Innovative Thought, the mission of which is to develop “courses of action on matters that would enhance national educational well-being.” She has served on the Board of Directors of Neogenix Oncology Corp., a private biotechnology company that has developed techniques for the early diagnosis and treatment of lung cancer and other malignancies.

In a review of Dr. Clausen’s presidency at Southeastern Louisiana University, an independent consultant, Dr. John Moore, President Emeritus of Indiana State University, noted that “…perhaps less than one-percent of (university) presidents being reviewed could enjoy such an extremely positive review as has President Clausen.” In a book commissioned by the American Council on Education, entitled The Entrepreneurial College President, Dr. Clausen was mentioned as “one whose leadership had positively transformed a college campus. In a time when chief executive officers of higher education systems are frequently criticized as inept, Sally Clausen has established the model for competence and achievement in that arena.”

The emphasis throughout her educational career has been and still is to expand education access and improved success for all students. The motto printed on her stationary is College Begins in Preschool and Education is Everybody’s Business.

Dr. Clausen is active in Special Olympics and First United Methodist Church of Baton Rouge. In 2004 she was inducted into the LSU Alumni Association Hall of Distinction and in 2007 was inducted into the Louisiana Political Hall of Fame.

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.)

Our panelists are:
• Sheriff Jason Ard, Livingston Parish
• Betty Muller, M.D., Child & Adolescent Psychiatrist
• Scott Richard, Louisiana School Boards Association
• Sen. Neil Riser, R-Columbia

The program features interviews with Bossier Parish School Superintendent Scott Smith; Bossier Sheriff Julian Whittington; Director of Security for Bossier Parish Schools, Lt. Adam Johnson; and Meagan Medley, Ph.D., a nationally-certified school psychologist and assistant professor at Nicholls State University. LPB CEO, Beth Courtney, and LPB news anchor, Andre’ Moreau, will moderate the discussion.

Louisiana Public Square
can also be heard on public radio stations WRKF in Baton Rouge; Red River Radio in Shreveport and Monroe; and WWNO in New Orleans. Check their station websites for schedule.
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Special Presentation

     05/16 - Louisiana Veterans Coming Home

What challenges do our returning veterans face?

Coming Soon!

     04/18 - Balancing Eldercare

How much does Louisiana spend on nursing homes versus home and community-based care?

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     10/17 - HIV/AIDS in Louisiana

How many people are living with HIV/AIDS in Louisiana and what resources are available to them?
»»» View all Topics!
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