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LSU Today Flagship Faculty
What was your previous position and where?I was editor of several daily newspapers in the western U.S. for 30 years. The 10 years prior to that, I was a state government or investigative reporter for two newspapers and The Associated Press. I have written or co-authored three books — the latest, "We Were Merchants" published by the LSU Press, recounts the story of the Sternberg family and Gauchaux's Department Store — and a fourth is nearing completion. I have been a deputy sheriff, high school teacher/coach, railroad brakeman, ran a U.S. Senate campaign and served as a lottery commissioner.
What brought you to LSU?I had been on the Manship School Board of Visitors for 12 years when then-dean Jack Hamilton — now provost — asked me in 2005 to teach at the school and to direct the Office of Student Media. A desire to give back to the profession in which I spent most of my adult life and the national reputation of the Manship School clinched the deal. Truth be known, Jack can be quite persuasive. I originally intended to stay two years. I currently am finishing my sixth year. I said I am pulling the plug at the end of next year, but I have said that so many times even I don't believe myself anymore.
What is your research interest?Research to a person who has operated on a 24-hour cycle most of his life is like giving Lady Gaga a show on the Food Channel.
What do you hope to accomplish at LSU?I hope to send bright, energetic, passionate, socially responsible seniors into the brave new world of journalism, grounded in effective writing skills and professional ethics. Oh, and land them a job in the process.
What do you enjoy most about LSU?The students.
What are your major accomplishments?At my age? Staying vertical.