LSU Manship School of Mass Communication Three-Year Diversity Plan

Manship School of Mass Communication's Three-Year Diversity Plan, 2022-2025

Proposed March 13, 2022

The Manship School of Mass Communication pledges to further establish a demographically and intellectually diverse environment and an educational experience designed to prepare our students be global citizens in an increasingly diverse world.

The Manship School of Mass Communication will collaborate with students, faculty, curriculum, and culture to create, maintain and facilitate a supportive climate for learning and working among faculty, students and staff who are diverse with respect to race, ethnicity, geographic origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, age, religion, socio-economic status, disability, family status, experiences, opinions, and ideas. Specifically, the Manship School Diversity Committee will embody the spirit of the 2017 Diversity Plan and diligently work to address diversity and inclusion issues within the parameters of the five pillars of our School: 1) students, 2) faculty and staff, 3) curriculum, 4) culture, and 5) policies.

The following items were generated from the spring 2021 Listening Sessions. The five subcommittees identified items of concern as well that directly align with Manship’s mission of advancing diversity in its entirety. After careful review of the lengthy and necessary action items, the chair and co-chair are recommending that all items be included in the 3-year plan. Doing so will be in keeping of the spirit of our 2019 Dean’s charge to the Diversity Committee.

This 3-Year Plan is advisory in nature and will hold Manship accountable to itself for achieving its aspirations of being a premiere institution of true diversity. The items are presented in four different time frames and listed in no particular order. The four time frames within which we are working are Immediate (Spring 2022), Year 1 (2022-2023), Year 2 (2023-2024), and Year 3 (2024-2025). Should limited financial and/or other resources adversely affect the ability to complete any item(s), said item can be moved to a different time frame. Similarly, the availability of resources and opportunity may warrant moving an item to earlier time frame. In either instance, the Diversity Committee will reconfigure the plan at the direction of the Dean.

Immediate Action Items (Spring 2022)

  • Establish clear, direct direct communication with students of color (SOC) regarding internships, scholarships, career development and other opportunities outside the classroom
  • Demonstrate commitment to supporting and bolstering research inclusive of experiences and topics related to historically marginalized groups and scholars
    Increase public acknowledgment of alumni, faculty and student success with an emphasis of individuals from underrepresented and historically marginalized groups

Year 1 (2022-2023)

  • Create a standard for the integration of more inclusive language in internal and forward-facing documents/communications
  • Educate students on the use of constructive feedback to combat biased (e.g., racism, sexism, classism) teaching evaluations in our introductory courses and throughout the curriculum
  • Ensure faculty of color do not carry heavier formal or informal service loads through systematized approach to assigning and evaluating service obligations
  • Draft policy language on the importance of hiring faculty from historically underrepresented groups and implement other strategies – such as “banding” over ranking procedures – in job candidate evaluations for fairer consideration
  • Be more intentional and strategic in recruiting and retaining a larger, more diverse body of students to engage in student leadership and high-profile school-related activities
  • Create a Black Scholar Research group that offers professional and intellectual support for our emerging Black scholars

Year 2 (2023-2024)

  • Establish shared syllabus language regarding DEI in course content, goals, and objectives
  • Create an opportunity for students to earn a Incultural Communication Certificate at the undergraduate and graduate levels
  • Development of a pedagogical repository for resources essential to teaching about diversity such as readings, blogs, videos, etc. that are made accessible to faculty and GA/RAs
  • Increase opportunities for all FFHUG (faculty from historically underrepresented groups) across ranks to receive effective mentoring and professional support towards career advancement. (Faculty)
  • Identify an internal or external source to provide effective training to ensure an inclusive and safe space for students of color and other marginalized group members
  • Require a graduate level diversity course for all students

Year 3 (2024-2025)

  • Cross-list relevant undergraduate and graduate courses between LSU and Southern University
  • Balance aspirational vision in communication with actual representation present in the school. Work to remove visual communication pieces that misrepresent where students are and how they are engaged
  • Develop a mentorship/sponsorship program that spans student programs, alumni, faculty and staff. Distinction from or inclusion with Manship Mentor Project, which currently only focuses on recent grads
  • Draft policy language that facilitates co-enrollment or even joint programs with other HBCUs or schools with a high percentage of historically underrepresented students
  • Restructure the undergraduate and graduate curricula to provide students with more exposure to historically underrepresented groups through course requirements, thus making global citizenry a more accessible, relatable, and contemporary goal