Manship School Strategic Plan | LSU Manship School of Mass Communication

Strategic Plan 2018-2023

Leading the Conversation

When the Manship School undertook its successful reinvention a quarter century ago into a modern program of teaching, research and service in media and public affairs, the best technology many of us had at home was dial-up internet; and it was a marvel.

Mass communication is more prevalent, more interactive and potentially more democratic than at any other time. There is virtually no ceiling to its potential for the public good.

The revolution of digital information underscores the importance of the Manship School's enduring mission to prepare ethical, knowledgeable and inclusive media practitioners; promote excellent research to inform the ever-transforming media landscape; and engage with communities to foster insight in public discourse and on professional issues.

The economic outlook for media careers is strong, too. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts our professions - including strategic communication, online journalism, TV production, web development, issue advocacy and law - will add jobs faster than the overall economy during the next eight years.

The future is bright. Our work is critically important. Our strategic plan, summarized here, outlines key steps the Manship School will take through 2023 to lead the conversation on media and public affairs in this digital age.


Prepare graduates to be exceptional communicators and connect them to high-quality jobs and continued education.

  • Create an Office of Experiential Education and Professional Development to foster expanded internship and professional opportunities for students
  • Build the Creative Sandbox, a collaborative workspace for developing strategic communication campaigns for nonpartisan clients, capstone classes and our competition teams
  • Raise funds to support additional experiential education student scholarships to increase participation in our study abroad and internship programs
  • Strengthen our visiting professionals-in-residence programs to bring more globally recognized, expert scholars and practitioners to our School
  • Expand the highly successful Manship School News Service to offer year-round, multimedia content, in-depth investigative, business, science and data journalism
  • Work with the Director of Student Media to continually improve service to campus and the local community and strengthen training opportunities


Create a forward-thinking environment to address the most pressing questions in mass communication.

  • Relocate and renovate the Manship School Research Facility to a campus location more accessible to researchers and students
  • Expand the capacity of the Public Policy Research Lab (PPRL) to take advantage of opportunities for public service and public opinion measurement, including more national surveys
  • Improve the infrastructure and capabilities of the Media Effects Lab (MEL)
  • Use the Social Media Analysis & Creation (SMAC) Lab as an innovation hub for tracking, understanding and interpreting social media messaging
  • Partner with the Office of Research and Economic Development to attract increased extramural funding and to address industry-specific questions
  • Develop more partnerships with specific firms and organizations to give students direct applied research and problem-solving experience
  • Further expand the research support offered by the Reilly Center for Media & Public Affairs
  • Continue to make high impact faculty hires, especially at the senior level including both distinguished scholars and practitioners


Inspire our communities to think deeply, take action, develop solutions and broaden knowledge.

  • Establish the Manship School as a national leader in research and teaching on mass communication, diversity and inclusion
  • Hire the Douglas L. Manship Sr. - Dori J. Maynard Chair in Race, Media & Cultural Literacy, the only position of its kind
  • Provide space and support for the national Media Diversity Forum, and strengthen it as a resource for news organizations, researchers, students and teachers
  • Establish a premier speaker series featuring renowned communication and political thought leaders to share insights with the university and local community
  • Develop service outreach programs to promote youth civic engagement and educate high school and middle school students about the Manship School
  • Reinvigorate the Louisiana Scholastic Press Association focused on training students to identify misinformation and fake news
  • Create a Manship School Publicity Academy to help high school students and their club advisors serve communities, improve their advocacy and identify career opportunities in strategic communication and public affairs
  • Develop a civic leadership program affiliated with the Reilly Center for Media & Public Affairs
  • Strengthen our alumni network, including reviving the alumni newsletter