Lance Porter Named LSU Manship School’s Interim Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies and Administration

December 21, 2020

Headshot, Lance PorterBATON ROUGE—Lance Porter, professor and founding director of the Social Media Analysis and Creation (SMAC) Lab, has been named interim associate dean for undergraduate studies and administration for the LSU Manship School of Mass Communication. He was selected as a result of former Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies and Administration Josh Grimm’s appointment to interim dean of the Manship School after the sudden loss of Martin Johnson, the School’s former dean, in September.

In this new role, Porter will direct recruitment, curriculum and course development, experiential learning opportunities and administration for all undergraduate activities. Having served in several administrative positions at LSU, Porter is well versed in this work. He is the former executive director of digital marketing for Disney’s film studio and joined the Manship School’s faculty in 2004. He holds a joint appointment with LSU’s interdisciplinary Center for Computation & Technology, where he is the area lead of the cultural computing focus area. Since 2019, Porter has directed the LSU Mass Communication Study Abroad in Cannes program, which he founded.

“Dr. Porter’s vast administrative experience and deep-seated familiarity with the Manship School will serve us very well. We are fortunate to have him in this position and are excited for what’s ahead,” Grimm said.

Porter’s administrative experience at LSU dates back to 2005, when he began a six-year stint as advertising area head in the Manship School. Next, Porter served as director of the Manship Digital Media Initiative from 2011 to 2016. In this role, he helped overhaul the Manship curriculum and founded the SMAC Lab, a resource used by faculty and mass communication classes to create, track and analyze social media content. While director of the Digital Media Initiative, Porter also served the Manship School as interim director of the master’s program from 2014-2015.

His academic accolades are equally extensive. Porter was awarded the 2019 Class of 1941 Alumni Professorship, a university award that recognizes excellence in instruction at the undergraduate level. In 2017, he was selected as one of six LSU faculty members campus-wide to earn a Rainmaker Award for Research and Creative Activity. And in 2010, he received the American Advertising Federation’s (AAF) Donald G. Hileman Memorial Educator of the Year Award, which honors the top advertising educator in District 7 of the AAF, which comprises Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana, Georgia and Tennessee. Porter’s numerous accolades over the years have distinguished him as an outstanding teacher and scholar.

“I am honored to step into this new role at Manship. I look forward to helping to continue the tremendous momentum that Martin built these past few years establishing the Manship School as a top mass communication program," Porter said. 

Porter’s research focuses on emerging media and power, examining how digital media empower—or disempower—the media landscape and resulting culture. He teaches courses in emerging and social media, digital brands, advertising creative strategy, advertising campaigns and more. He earned a Ph.D. and a master’s degree in mass communication from the University of Georgia and a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Mississippi State University.

Learn more about Porter’s teaching, research and industry experience at

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LSU’s Manship School of Mass Communication ranks among the strongest collegiate communication programs in the country, with its robust emphasis on media and public affairs. It offers undergraduate degrees in public relations, journalism, political communication, digital advertising and pre-law, along with four graduate degree programs: Master of Mass Communication, Ph.D. in Media and Public Affairs, Certificate of Strategic Communication and dual MMC/Law degree. Its public relations students were recently ranked the #1 team in the nation, and its digital advertising and student media teams frequently earn national recognition.