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LSU Today Flagship Faculty
What was your previous position and where?I was previously the department chair at Indiana State University in Terre Haute, Ind.
What brought you to LSU?I came to LSU for the opportunity to work in a relatively new Ph.D. program devoted specifically to the intersection of media and politics and to develop and direct the Public Policy Research Lab and the annual Louisiana Survey.
What is your research interest?My research interests include American politics, particularly campaigns and elections and public opinion.
What do you hope to accomplish at LSU?My number one priority is to continue to engage in work that I find personally and professionally meaningful, and that has both "real world" value and theoretical importance. Accomplishments are less important than the day-to-day work and the feeling that the work I do matters. While I have written a couple of books, I'd like to write a book that has lasting impact on how people think about democratic governance.
What do you enjoy most about LSU?I greatly enjoy South Louisiana — the culture, the people and the diversity. I don't think there is any place like it in the world. In terms of LSU, I greatly appreciate the ambitions and aspirations behind the Flagship Agenda. It is important to be a part of something that is progressing, that is never satisfied with the status quo and that is moving forward. I enjoy the feeling of pushing toward greatness.
What are your major accomplishments?There are people who are defined by great works, but I am not sure I am one of them. I would hope my accomplishments are defined not in a single article or book, but in the collective body of work accumulated over years and through consistent productivity over time. Having said that, I am very proud of the Public Policy Research Lab and the work we have done to help inform state government. I can, at best, take partial credit for the PPRL's development - Dek Terrell in economics and Adrienne Moore in the Reilly Center played a particularly important roles - but it has been amazing to watch as it has grown in size, scope and impact. Hopefully, we have created an institution that will last far beyond my time at LSU.