The former assistant professor at Louisiana State University and North Carolina attorney will also teach in Elon’s School of Communications.
Brooks Fuller, most recently an assistant professor in the Manship School of Communication at Louisiana State University, has been named the director of the North Carolina Open Government Coalition (NCOGC) and Sunshine Center. The former North Carolina attorney will also serve as an instructor and teach in Elon University’s School of Communications.
As the NCOGC director, Fuller’s duties will include working with the coalition’s board to organize the state’s annual Sunshine Day, advising citizens about open government issues, producing workshops and educational opportunities around the state, handling communication for the coalition, and identifying ways to inform North Carolina citizens of the value and processes of open government in the state.
In the spring semester, Fuller will teach two sessions of Media Law and Ethics, a required course for all Elon communications majors.
“Having an open and accessible government is vital to our democracy, and Elon’s School of Communications is proud to be the home of the North Carolina Open Government Coalition," said Communications Dean Rochelle Ford. “Through his combination of professional experience, scholarly achievement, and passion for teaching, Brooks Fuller will move the coalition into an even more prominent position in North Carolina political and civic life. We are thrilled to welcome Brooks and to add an outstanding teacher and scholar of media law and speech freedom to our community.”
A 2017 Ph.D. graduate of the UNC School of Media and Journalism, Fuller began teaching at Louisiana State University in fall 2017, leading classes in media law, ethics and First Amendment issues.
He won the Nafziger-White-Salwen Dissertation Award at the 2018 Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC) annual conference. Fuller’s dissertation titled, “Words, Wounds, and Relationships: a Mixed-Method Study of Free Speech and Harm in High-Conflict Environments,” uses qualitative field methods to examine high-conflict political protests, such as abortion clinic protests, where free speech is truly tested.
Fuller’s other research interests include topics related to unprotected speech, political extremism, national security, and media ethics. His research utilizes a blend of qualitative methodologies to understand judicial decision-making, social movements, and the relationship between free speech and societal harms.
“The old adage is that open government is good government,” Fuller said. “The North Carolina Open Government Coalition stands ready to serve North Carolina citizens by ensuring that they understand the level of accountability owed to them under North Carolina law. I’m honored to serve as the coalition’s next director and excited to continue its already strong work.”
Prior to entering the doctoral program at UNC and joining LSU’s faculty, Fuller practiced law in North Carolina for more than seven years. He earned his J.D. from University of South Carolina School of Law, and a bachelor’s degree from UNC where he studied journalism.
In the NCOGC role, Fuller succeeds Jonathan Jones, who served as the director since fall 2013. A former assistant district attorney for Durham County, Jones returned to practice law full time last fall.
The North Carolina Open Government Coalition unites organizations interested in ensuring and enhancing the public’s access to government activity, records and meetings. The nonpartisan coalition educates people about their rights, supports their efforts to gain access, and advocates the principles and benefits of open government. The Sunshine Center is the educational arm of the NCOGC and focuses on outreach efforts to inform citizens about the importance of government openness. Elon’s School of Communications has housed the coalition and center since 2007.