Volkmann takes post as interim vice president of strategic communications

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Penn State’s communications, marketing and public relations efforts are now under the direction of Max Fredric "Fred" Volkmann, who started Oct. 1 as interim vice president for strategic communications. With nearly five decades of experience in higher education, Volkmann was retired when he agreed to fill the position until a permanent hire is made in 2014.

Washington University in St. Louis named Volkmann vice chancellor emeritus in 2011 after he served more than 31 years as the school’s chief public affairs, communications and marketing officer. Before holding that position, he held similar posts at Ohio State University, Albion (Michigan) College and Iowa Wesleyan College. He worked previously at two daily newspapers.

Volkmann is a longtime member of the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education, serving on the organization’s board of trustees from 1979 to 1985, and as trustee chair in 1983-84. He received CASE's Lifetime Achievement Award in 2011. He also has conducted 70 reviews and assessments of public relations, communications, public affairs, publications and admissions programs at institutions of higher education nationwide.

On Sept. 20, Penn State President Rodney Erickson introduced Volkmann to the University Board of Trustees, saying “During his career, he advanced the entire field of public affairs through his adoption of cutting-edge communications, innovative media strategies and talent for great content.”

Volkmann received his bachelor of arts degree in English from Iowa Wesleyan College in 1966. In addition to his longstanding career as chief public affairs officer, Volkmann also has worked as a director of university publications, photographer, reporter, writer and as adviser and lecturer for more than 100 professional conferences and seminars.

Last Updated October 17, 2013