Curtis Manning, PhD, will discuss the story of Louisiana and its people � through the lens of higher education. Starting with the cultural foundation of the French and Spanish inhabitants, the state � and its colleges and universities � took a path unlike the rest of America. From the mid-nineteenth century beginnings, Louisiana higher education expanded as the state grew. Unlike in many other parts of the country. Louisiana governors, especially Huey P. LONG, played a central role in the establishment and reform of colleges and universities. Louisiana State University and Tulane University emerged as the most important and influential universities in the state, and Louisiana leaders consciously set up a �dual system� of higher education, segregated by race. Dr. Curtis Manning is a professor of history at Nunez Community College. He has spent 17 years in Louisiana higher education, also serving as Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs and interim Vice Chancellor of Academic and Student Affairs. He earned his doctoral and master's degrees in Higher Education Administration from the University of New Orleans, an master's degree in History from the University of Alabama-Birmingham and a bachelor's degree in History and Russian & Soviet Studies from the University of the South. Before working in higher education, Dr. Manning worked, lived and traveled in the countries of the former Soviet Union.