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Panelist Bio


Thomas Layzell
Board of Regents consultant

Thomas Layzell has served over 40 years in a variety of positions in public higher education and has been a system head since 1984, serving as Executive Director and Chancellor of the Illinois Board of Governors of State Colleges and Universities from 1984 to 1995 and the Commissioner of Higher Education in Mississippi from 1995 to 2003, before coming to Kentucky as President of the Council.

Layzell retired as President of the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education on April 15, 2007. Under his leadership, more people than ever before enrolled in postsecondary and adult education and earning degrees, certificates and diplomas. In 2005, the Council announced a preliminary 19 percent increase in the number of degrees conferred by the public colleges and universities.

Earlier I nhis career, he worked at Governors State University in University Park, Illinois, from 1969 to 1976, advancing to the position of Vice President for Administration. He also served as a staff member at the Illinois Board of Higher Education from 1966 – 1969.

Layzell earned a Bachelor of Arts degree at Millikin University in Decatur, Illinois, and both a Juris Doctorate in law and a Master’s of Arts in Public Administration from the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign.

Current Topic


09/16 - Pass or Fail? Louisiana’s Education System

How well is the state’s public school system really performing?

One national survey ranks Louisiana as 49th for academic achievement of public school students. Another national report ranks the state dead last. So, how well is the state’s public school system really performing? Where is there room for improvement? What will the new federal “Every Student Succeeds Act” mean for education in Louisiana? And how have the historic summer floods changed things? Louisiana Public Square explores these issues and more on “Pass or Fail? Louisiana’s Education System” Wednesday, September 28 at 7 p.m. on LPB HD and in New Orleans on WLAE.

The panelists are
• Superintendent Michael Faulk, Central Community School System
• James D. Garvey, Jr. , BESE Board President
• Scott Richard, Executive Director, Louisiana School Boards Association
• Rep. Patricia Haynes Smith, D- Baton Rouge; House Education Committee

LPB CEO Beth Courtney and LSU Manship School of Mass Communication professor Robert Mann host the show. The program features interviews with Louisiana Education State Superintendent John White; Debbie Meaux, President of the Louisiana Association of Educators; Brigitte Nieland with the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry and Caddo Parish School Superintendent Dr. Theodis Lamar Goree.

“Pass or Fail? Louisiana’s Education System” 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!


10/16 - Election 2016

What concerns are on citizens’ minds as they go to the polls this fall?

Recent Topics


08/16 - Louisiana Post-Katrina: A Decade of Difference (encore)

What difference has a decade made?


07/16 - Regular and Extraordinary: Legislative Review

Who are the winners and losers in Louisiana’s budget battle?


06/16 - Symbol or Statement? History in Public Spaces (encore)

Is the display of Civil War statues in public justified or do they belong only in museums?


05/16 - Louisiana Veterans Coming Home

What challenges do our returning veterans face?

»»» View all Topics!
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Thursday, September 29, 2016
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