A team of outside experts this week praised the Manship School of Mass Communication at LSU, identifying it as being in “the ranks of the country’s strongest programs.”
The team, representing the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications, recommended re-accreditation of the school’s undergraduate and master’s programs. The team found the school in compliance on all nine of the council’s standards—governance, curriculum, diversity, faculty, scholarship, student services, facilities and equipment, professional and public service and assessment of learning outcomes.
Jerry Ceppos, dean of the Manship School, said he was most pleased with references to Manship’s interest in collaboration on and off campus. “Related to that, the team also wrote that ‘a strong sense of community in the school is apparent,’ “ Ceppos said. “I’m so pleased that jumped out at the team.”
The team noted many other strengths, including “a well-balanced full-time faculty that possesses a healthy blend of academic and professional credentials.” The school’s students came in for praise, too. The team noted “energetic, articulate and poised students who take pride in their program; the instruction they received and the extensive array of on- and off-campus opportunities available to them.”
Only 115 journalism and mass-communication schools, colleges or departments in the world are accredited, though at least 400 colleges and universities in the United States alone teach those subjects.
“This is the gold standard of recognition in our discipline,” Ceppos said. “This is a seal of approval that parents, students, university administrators, governing boards and even legislatures look for.”
The team presented its recommendation to LSU President F. King Alexander and Richard Koubek, interim executive vice president and provost.
The recommendation for reaccreditation for an additional six years will go in March to the Accrediting Committee and in May to the Accrediting Council. The two groups are likely to put great weight on the team’s finding that the school was in compliance on all standards, Ceppos said.
The chairman of the team was Dr. Douglas Anderson, senior research professor at Arizona State University and dean emeritus at Penn State University. Other members were Michel M. Haigh, associate professor at Penn State; Mark Haas, founding partner of Peconic First, a venture-capital firm, and a long-time top executive with Edelman, the largest independent public-relations firm; Pat Rose, executive director of the American Academy of Advertising and a former associate dean at Florida International University in Miami, and Pat Thomson, director of the Student Media Center at the University of Mississippi and formerly a long-time newspaper editor.