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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


     09/18 - Revisiting Reform

Are the criminal justice reforms working as intended?
In 2017, Louisiana’s legislature passed the Justice Reinvestment Act, which sought to reduce the state’s highest-in-the-nation incarceration rate. The bill was championed by Democratic Governor John Bel Edwards and received bipartisan support including from community and business leaders. Now, just over a year later, the legislation has become a political football. State Attorney General Jeff Landry and Senator John Kennedy, both Republicans considering a run against Edwards in 2019, suggest that the reform package is a failure. They cite murders committed by two inmates released since the Act’s implementation.

Are the criminal justice reforms working as intended? Has the legislation put more residents in harm’s way or are plea deals part of the problem?

Louisiana Public Square looks for answers to these questions and more on “Revisiting Reform” Wednesday, September 26 at 7pm on LPB and in New Orleans on WLAE.

Our panelists are:
• E. Pete Adams, Executive Director, La. District Attorneys Association
• Alanah Hebert, ACLU of Louisiana & Justice Reinvestment Task Force
• Andrew Hundley, Louisiana Parole Project
• Sec. Jimmy LeBlanc, La. Department of Corrections

The program features interviews with Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry; Rep. Terry Landry, D- New Iberia, with the Justice Reinvestment Oversight Council; Deputy Assistant Secretary Natalie Laborde, with the Louisiana Department of Corrections; and Stephanie Riegel, editor of the Baton Rouge Business Report.

LPB CEO, Beth Courtney and professor Robert Mann with the LSU Manship School of Mass Communication host the show.

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!


     10/18 - Louisiana Veterans Back Home

What are the programs and initiatives helping our veterans successfully transition to civilian life?

Recent Topics


     08/18 - The Power of Reading

How can we make inroads to improve adult literacy in Louisiana and champion a joy of reading from pre-school into adulthood?

     07/18 - Preventing Suicide

How is Louisiana addressing its suicide problem?

     06/18 - Louisiana: Sportsman’s Paradise or Problem?  (ENCORE)

Is Louisiana a Sportsman’s Paradise or Problem?

     05/18 - News About the News

How can viewers distinguish between fact and fake news and is social media blurring the difference?
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