Professor of Economics
Skipping any of Dr. Morris Coats’ classes is out of the question. Not only does he view his role as an instructor as being part guide/part drill instructor, but he also learned firsthand the negative effects of sleeping until noon.
Following his high school graduation, Coats attended Louisiana State University on a Tiger Band scholarship to play the tuba. He earned A’s in his two afternoon classes, but was thankful to earn a D in his morning “Economic History of the United States” course.
“The sudden freedom of college away from home and the Tiger Town nightlife made getting up for that 10:30 a.m. class, my first one of the day, a hit-or-miss proposition,” Coats says. “That D was a wake-up call for me, with a message that said ‘get serious about school or get out.’”
Ten years almost to the day that he stepped foot in his first economics class, Coats returned to thank his professor, Dr. John Chisolm, for the most important lesson he learned as an undergraduate, concentrate on school work and attend class. Since 1985, Coats has been teaching that same lesson and more to Nicholls State University students.
Prior to arriving at Nicholls, Coats served as an instructor at Virginia Tech, Lynchburg College and Marshall University. The faculty is what has impressed Coats the most about the Nicholls College of Business Administration.
“I think our program’s greatest strength lies in the faculty, all of whom have terminal degrees in their field, who take every part of their job seriously with particular attention paid to their teaching,” Coats says. “They also have proven research and publication records and are very involved with both campus life and community involvement.”
Through his own research, Coats has concluded that the effect of state cigarette taxes on reducing smoking and raising revenues has often been overestimated. He has also spent significant time researching the competition for political office and the factors that have limited that competition. Specifically, he studied the elections for the 19th century British Parliament, school tax elections in Louisiana, county supervisor elections in Mississippi and the secret ballot election in 19th century Britain.
Coats is married to Lisa Huval, a school administrator in St. Charles Parish, and they have three children. Kelsie, 16, has been one of E.D. White’s top cross-country runners since her eighth grade year and will likely graduate with 14 varsity letters for cross-country, track and soccer. Mason, 15, is a tuba player in the E.D. White band and was just recognized as the outstanding freshman bandsman. Their 8-year old son enjoys playing soccer and acting.
Coats doesn’t have much spare time but enjoys honing his musical talents when he can. “I enjoy cranking up my vintage amplifier and playing Gibson Les Paul guitars, but I get to do that far too infrequently,” Coats says. “My wife and kids start complaining when plaster starts falling from the ceiling.”
To learn more about Coats take on a wide range of subjects, visit the blog that he contributes to along with Dr. Chad Turner, Dr. Gokhan Karahan and Dr. Norbert Michel: http://www.nicholls.edu/bastiatsbastions.
B.A., Louisiana State University; M.S., Ph.D., Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
102A White Hall