Welcome from the Dean
Dear students, alumni, faculty and other friends,
The past academic year epitomized the goal of the Manship School: setting the highest standard for education in mass communication, a standard that other schools might aspire to. Here’s what that goal produced in the last year:
–A team of outside experts from our accrediting body declared that the school is “in the ranks of the country’s strongest programs.” We were unanimously reaccredited.
–As many as 10 Manship students covered 19 consecutive weeks of legislative sessions, the longest in the legislature’s 204 years. (In fact, as far as I can tell, student Jack Richards first reported that it was the longest session.) They produced 404 articles for 13 Louisiana news organizations. This was our first-ever legislative bureau.
–Professor Jay Shelledy, the students’ bureau chief, mentor and editor, was named Educator of the Year by the Newspaper and Online News Division of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication.
–We opened our remarkable Social Media Analysis and Creation Lab, the third research laboratory at the Manship School. The others are the Public Policy Research Lab and the Media Effects Lab. The labs serve the citizens of Louisiana by producing knowledge uncovered by students and professors.
–We received two big gifts, totaling $2.55 million, from the Manship and Lamar families, for establishment of the country’s first endowed chair in media diversity and for an expansion of our visiting-scholar program.
–We sent about 25 students to Iowa to meet a dozen presidential candidates and to learn about the caucus process.
–Our students organized and moderated the final televised gubernatorial debate, which made front-page news. It was one of many outreach efforts in a year dominated by elections and a state budget crisis.
One LSU executive told me that he doesn’t know how we accomplished so much. He hasn’t seen anything yet. As the new academic year begins, we hope to help our students learn by studying two cataclysmic events—the violence that struck Baton Rouge this summer and the election campaigns for president, U.S. Senate, Congress and mayor-president of East Baton Rouge Parish. Your ideas are very welcome.
Jerry Ceppos, Dean