Piper Hutchinson

Piper Hutchinson

Piper Hutchinson is a reporter for the Louisiana Illuminator. She has covered the Legislature and state government extensively for the LSU Manship News Service and The Reveille, where she was named editor in chief for summer 2022.

LSU leaders embrace artificial intelligence, but students increasingly face discipline for using it

By: - August 29, 2023

After an artificial intelligence detecting function was released on a popular plagiarism detection software, LSU saw a nearly 500% increase in reports to its student accountability office for plagiarism. Professors and administrators are grappling with the best way to approach the rapidly evolving technology.  In the spring 2022 semester, the LSU Office of Student Advocacy […]

Attorney General Jeff Landry speaks to reporters before qualifying Wednesday, Aug. 9, 2023, for the governor’s race Wednesday, Aug. 9, 2023, at the Louisiana State Archives building in Baton Rouge.

Louisiana Republicans emphasize national talking points ahead of statewide election

By: - August 26, 2023

LAFAYETTE — Ahead of a pivotal statewide election in which the Republican Party of Louisiana hopes to recapture the governor’s mansion, headline speakers at the organization’s annual convention emphasized national talking points over Louisiana-oriented policy.  Speaker after speaker decried “wokeness,” the media and the far-left Democratic Party. Others defended former President Donald Trump, who had […]

U.S. Rep. Garret Graves launches caucus to preserve historic stadiums like LSU’s 

By: - August 25, 2023

LSU’s Tiger Stadium has gained a powerful protector with the launch of a congressional caucus dedicated to preserving historic college football venues.  U.S. Rep Garret Graves, a Baton Rouge Republican, is launching the bipartisan Historic Stadium Caucus with the help of Rep. Mark Pocan, a Democrat from Wisconsin, which aims to preserve the integrity of […]

A man in a suit jacket sits at a table. In the foreground, a blurred figure stands at a podium.

Lafayette library board rescinds illegal firing of director, who resigns

By: - August 25, 2023

Facing a lawsuit for illegally terminating its library director in executive session, the Lafayette Parish Library Board of Control has reversed course and will allow him to resign.  At a special meeting Thursday, the board accepted the resignation of library director Danny Gillane, which allows him to retain certain benefits such as accrued leave and […]

Louisiana rolls out hunger-free campus designation program 

By: - August 23, 2023

The Louisiana Board of Regents approved Wednesday the designation of every public college and university and four private universities in Louisiana as hunger-free campuses.  A 2020 study indicates that approximately 29% of students at four-year colleges and 38% at two-year schools in the U.S. experience food insecurity. The numbers are substantially higher for students of […]

Library board meetings at book challenge capital of the nation settle into predictable chaos 

By: - August 22, 2023

MANDEVILLE — One year after it received its first book challenge, a Louisiana library system that has received more challenges than any other in America has come to a decision on 17 out of over 100 titles under scrutiny.  At a Monday meeting, the St. Tammany Library Board of Control voted to keep two more […]

LSU reverses course, will raise pay for all doctorate-seeking graduate assistants 

By: - August 21, 2023

In a reversal, LSU announced it will offer pay raises to all Ph.D. degree-seeking graduate assistants, after initially excluding about 200 students on grants.  LSU announced in February it would raise its minimum pay for all graduate assistants on the track to receive doctorates to $23,000 per academic year — the highest among schools in […]

The Memorial Tower on LSU's campus in Baton Rouge

Budget cuts like those at West Virginia have happened in Louisiana. Could they happen again? 

By: - August 20, 2023

Both sprawling, public land-grant flagship universities in two of the poorest states in the nation, Louisiana State University and West Virginia University are more similar than you’d think.  It’s why higher education observers in Louisiana are watching the slashing of WVU’s budget with trepidation.  Faced with a budget crisis caused by declining enrollment and a […]

LSU’s Memorial Tower

LSU awarded millions from federal government to study carbon capture

By: - August 17, 2023

The U.S. Department of Energy has awarded nearly $5 million to an LSU-led consortium to study the feasibility of building a carbon capture hub in Louisiana.  The Pelican Consortium, which includes Shell and the University of Houston, will evaluate the potential for scaling up and deploying multiple carbon capture technologies. “Collaborative carbon removal research like […]

A one story building is shaded by an oak tree. In front of the building is a purple sign that notes it as the LSU Student Health Center

Most Louisiana universities stick with relaxed COVID precautions amid pre-semester surge 

By: - August 16, 2023

Amid another surge in cases of COVID-19, just one public Louisiana university will require students returning to campus for the fall semester to be vaccinated against the disease.  LSU Shreveport will require students to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, but the main LSU campus in Baton Rouge and LSU Alexandria will not require it. LSU Shreveport […]

A sign directs people to the Louisiana State Archives building for election qualifying Aug. 9, 2023, in Baton Rouge.

Louisiana insurance commissioner race decided after candidate withdraws

By: and - August 16, 2023

One of two candidates for Louisiana insurance commissioner has dropped out of the race, giving the lone remaining candidate an automatic victory. WDSU-TV first reported Rich Weaver, a Democrat from Ascension Parish, would drop out of the race, citing a potential challenge to his candidacy. That leaves Tim Temple, a Baton Rouge Republican, as the commissioner-elect.  […]

The sun shines brightly on Thursday, Dec. 15, 2022, above the University of New Orleans entrance sign on Lakeshore Drive.

Louisiana governor declares state of emergency for extreme heat

By: - August 14, 2023

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards declared a state of emergency Monday due to record-breaking extreme heat. “This summer, the National Weather Service has issued a record number of excessive heat warnings for Louisiana,” Edwards said in a press release. “The Louisiana Department of Health reports that the state has already exceeded the average number of […]