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Panelist Bio


Pearson Cross
Head of the Political Science Department at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette

Pearson Cross currently serves as Head of the Political Science Department at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette . His principal areas of teaching are State and Local politics, Southern politics, and Louisiana politics.

He is a regular commentator on Louisiana politics on national, local and state-wide media. Dr. Cross received his B.A., from San Francisco State University in 1985 and his Ph.D. from Brandeis University in Massachusetts in 1997. His dissertation was titled "Collective Action in Colonial America."

Current research interests include gender and politics, legislative politics, and Louisiana government.

Dr. Cross advises the College Democrats and serves on the American Democracy Project committee.

His first avocation is jazz piano; his second is southern cooking.

He is married to Lisa Orten Cross and has one son, Elias.

Current Topic


07/14 - Defining “Dangerous”

How does Louisiana determine if someone is a danger to themselves or others?

Special Presentation


Breaking Away:  A Louisiana Public Square Special Presentation

Would the breakaway City of St. George quash Baton Rouge’s school desegregation progress?

Coming Soon!


08/14 - Down the Road: Our Transportation Future

What should the state’s transportation priorities be?

Recent Topics


06/14 - Pot or Not? The Decriminalization Debate (Encore Presentation)

Would a reduction in penalties encourage more usage and lead the state down a path to legalization?


05/14 - Job Market 2014

What does Louisiana’s employment market look like for job hunters in 2014?


04/14 - State Contracts 101

Will proposed legislation help rein in costs or create arbitrary caps that hinder agencies in delivering services?


03/14 - Louisiana and The Minimum Wage

Should Louisiana develop its own minimum wage?

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