Inaugural Deans and Program Director Appointed for the LSU School of Collaborative Academic Programs

Three deans have been appointed to serve as the inaugural deans of the newly announced School of Collaborative Academic including: Troy Blanchard, dean of the College of Humanities & Social Sciences; Martin Johnson, dean of the Manship School of Mass Communication; and Cynthia Peterson, dean of the College of Science. Theda Daniels-Race, professor in the Division of Electrical & Computer Engineering, will serve as the program director for the school.

“We have a cadre of exceptional deans, and I know our inaugural deans, who will rotate terms with their colleauges, will lead the charge of this new, innovative school,” said Executive Vice President & Provost Stacia Haynie. “Moreover, Professor Daniels-Race has extensive experience in collaborative projects and engagement. We now have all of the right people and the right tools to make this an extremely successful school, and we are just so excited to get started.  I am grateful to the faculty members of the School’s Policy Committee who have driven our vision.”

Dean Cynthia Peterson has served as dean of the College of Science since January 2014. Peterson holds the Kenneth and Blaire Mossman Professorship in Biomedicine and is the former head of the Department of Biochemistry and Cellular and Molecular Biology at UT.

“A cornerstone of our LSU strategic plan is collaboration,” said Peterson. “I am pleased to be involved with the School of Collaborative Academic Programs from the outset. We are ready to partner with the Professor Daniels-Race and support the faculty in establishing the framework for new intercollegiate academic programs to take shape.”

Dean Troy Blanchard was named dean of HSS in November 2019 and is a professor of sociology. His expertise and research interests focus on demography, population health and social inequality.

Dean Martin Johnson, holder of the Kevin P. Reilly Sr. Chair in Political Communication, was named dean of the Manship School of Mass Communication in April 2018. Before he was named dean, he served as the associate dean for graduate students and research in the Manship School of Mass Communications. Johnson studies media, politics, public opinion, political psychology and public policy.

Professor Theda Daniels-Race is the Michel B. Voohries Distinguished Professor in the Division of Electrical & Computer Engineering. Daniels-Race brings 30 years of experience in academic research, teaching and service. She is currently the principal investigator of the Applied Hybrid Electronic Materials & Structures Group and serve as the director of the
Electronic Materials & Devices Laboratory for the Division of Electrical & Computer Engineering.

“This is a phenomenal opportunity to be the inaugural program director of the School of Collaborative Academic Programs,” said Daniels-Race. “I am eager to partner with the colleges across campus to build new academic programs that will highlight collaborative learning experiences and convergence of knowledge between disciplines.”

The School of Collaborative Academic Programs is a multi-college, interdisciplinary and cutting-edge program bridging faculty expertise across disciplines to offer cross-disciplinary curriculums to undergraduate and graduate students. The program involves deep integration across disciplinary boundaries that utilizes the strengths of more than once school or college to address the exceptionally complex problems of the human condition. The school will be led by the three deans, governed by the policy committee and executed by the program director.

Read the full press release announcement for the School of Collaborative Academic Programs.