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Blanco Center colloquium takes a fresh look at perennial challenges

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The Kathleen Babineaux Blanco Public Policy Center will examine issues central to the former Louisiana governor’s tenure during its inaugural colloquium Sept. 21.

The College of Liberal Arts at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette is sponsoring the event. The two-hour panel discussion will begin at 10 a.m. at the LITE Center, 537 Cajundome Blvd. 

It is free and open to the public, but space is limited. Reserve a seat here.

Dr. Jordan Kellman, the college’s dean, said the symposium “will examine what progress has been made and what challenges remain in several of the issues Gov. Blanco championed throughout her public service career.”

Topics will include criminal justice reform, social mobility, ethics, civic engagement, and education, he said.

Former U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu will moderate the program. Panelists will include Dr. Kim Hunter Reed, state commissioner of higher education; Dr. Michael Neustrom, former Lafayette Parish sheriff; Terri Ricks, deputy secretary, Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services; and Dr. Shawn Wilson, secretary, Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development.

Several members of UL Lafayette’s faculty also will participate. They are Dr. DeAnn Kalich, Department of Sociology; Dr. David Khey, Department of Criminal Justice; and Dr. Christine Maloyed, Department of Political Science.

Kellman said the panel “exemplifies one of the Blanco Center’s primary goals, to foster discussion and collaboration between policymakers and scholars.”

UL Lafayette announced the policy center and archive’s creation in July. It will house Blanco’s gubernatorial papers, and contribute interdisciplinary, independent research to a host of public policy areas.

“When challenges are examined from multiple perspectives, viable solutions almost always emerge,” Kellman said. “The center is in its infancy, but this inaugural panel is a strong statement about the kinds of thoughtful conversations it will facilitate in the years ahead.”

Blanco is a UL Lafayette alumna and the only woman to serve as Louisiana governor.

The center is a partnership between the College of Liberal Arts and the University’s Edith Garland Dupré Library.

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