John Young promoted within communications and marketing department

This month marks a new chapter in the life of John Young, as he begins his new position as the vice president of Communications and Marketing (UCM).

While it might not seem like a large shift from his previous position as the associate vice president for UCM, that dropping of the word “associate” represents a meaningful change. This new job places Young in President George W. Hynd’s cabinet — Young now has a direct line of communication with OU’s new president.

Young said he values this particular facet of the new job because he now has “the ability for direct input from both the communications and marketing perspectives on major decisions.”

While he has only been at OU since 2013, Young said he has formed some big plans for the department and university as a whole. Growing communication through digital means will be a high priority.

“That is where our target audiences seek information,” Young said.

Young said he hopes that, through these increased communication efforts, the university can convey more information to more people.

Jackie Wiggins, chair of the music, theatre and dance department, has worked with Young on a few occasions, including when he helped to promote arts faculty on radio and television. She said she is proud of the work Young and his team have done so far, and that his promotion appropriately reflects the work that he has done for OU.

“Vice President Young and his team worked tirelessly to assess our situation and make decisions about what we needed to do to move forward,” Wiggins said.

Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences Kevin J. Corcoran has also worked with Young on the recent internal branding project.

“He doesn’t think he has all the answers,” Corcoran said. “He recognizes a lot of the answers around the table and around the campus.”

This, in addition to Young’s attention to the opinions of many entities and dedication to getting the core messages across, are what make Young a good fit for the job, according to Corcoran. 

Young grew up in Southfield and attended Detroit Catholic Central. He received a degree in business from University of Michigan-Ann Arbor and his MBA from Wayne State University.

Other notable positions that Young has held before Oakland include chief marketing officer and vice president at Walsh College, and corporate director of marketing at Oakwood Health System.

In his free time, Young said he enjoys horseback riding with his autistic son. When he’s not with his son he’s feeding his main hobby: running. He attributes members of the OU health community with keeping him on track.

While Young has had many enriching jobs and interests in his life, it is evident to many that his dedication to Oakland is steadfast.

As he takes on the new year, and his new job with it, Young said he is ready to get down to business.

“We will continue the aggressive outreach to media in order to generate visibility to build our academic reputation,” Young said.