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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


     02/17 - Black & the Blue

What can be done to improve trust among the police and the public they serve?
Last year’s shooting of an African-American male in Baton Rouge by two white police officers re-ignited a national debate on how law enforcement interacts with minority communities. Nationwide demonstrations were ultimately marred by the targeted ambush of 12 white officers in Dallas and the killing of three members of law enforcement in Baton Rouge. What can be done to improve trust among the police and the public they serve? How can Louisiana’s Capital City productively move beyond these events? Louisiana Public Square looks for answers on a special town hall edition, “Black & the Blue” Wednesday, February 22 at 7pm; Sunday, February 26 at 1pm and Tuesday, February 28 at 10pm after the State of the Union address on LPB HD. In New Orleans on WLAE, Wednesday, February 22 at 7 PM. (Recorded Monday, February 20)

Our panelists will be:
• Fr. Rick Andrus, St. Paul the Apostle Catholic Church, Together BR
• Darrell Basco, state president of Fraternal Order of Police
• Sharon Weston Broome, Mayor-President of Baton Rouge
• Rep. Ted James, D-Baton Rouge; Public Safety Task Force
• Stephanie Riegel; Greater Baton Rouge Business Report

LPB CEO Beth Courtney and Reverend Raymond Jetson, pastor of Star Hill Church host the program. Robyn Merrick with the Southern University System and Bob Mann with LSU’s Manship School will moderate the discussion.
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Special Presentation


     05/16 - Louisiana Veterans Coming Home

What challenges do our returning veterans face?

Coming Soon!


     03/17 - Fiscal Reform 2017

Is it time to reform Louisiana’s tax code?

Recent Topics


     01/17 - Healthy New Year!

What is the best approach to shedding pounds in a state where cuisine is part of its culture?

     12/16 - Louisiana Veterans Coming Home (Encore Presentation)

What challenges do our returning veterans face?

     11/16- Beyond the Flood

What lessons did residents and state officials learn from this historic event and what challenges remain?

     10/16 - Election 2016

What concerns are on citizens’ minds as they go to the polls this fall?
»»» View all Topics!
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