UNIVERSITY PARK, PA: Penn State University has appointed former University of California at Los Angeles associate vice chancellor of communications Lawrence Lokman as VP of strategic communications, effective October 8.
His hire is pending approval from the university’s board of trustees.
Lokman will oversee 55 employees across departments including campus and community affairs, Internet communications, news and media relations, research communications, and university marketing and advertising, the university said in a statement.
His hire comes nearly three years after the school was forced to respond to the Jerry Sandusky scandal. The former defensive coordinator for the university’s football program was convicted in July 2012 of sexually assaulting 10 boys over a 15-year period. Then 68-years-old, he was sentenced to a minimum of 60 years in jail.
In response, Penn State’s board of trustees initially worked with Ketchum on crisis communications. After that assignment ended, the university began working with Edelman and Harrisburg, Pennsylvania-based La Torre Communications in April 2012.
A Penn State spokesman confirmed the university is still working with La Torre, but no longer with Edelman.
Lokman is currently the MD and founder of Window in Communications in Los Angeles. His clients over the past three years have included Stanford University, the California Coalition for Public Higher Education, and Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.
Previously, Lokman served as vice chancellor at UCLA from 2002 to 2010, where he led a staff of 60 and oversaw public outreach, marketing, special events and protocol, fundraising communications, media relations, and crisis and executive communications. He led issues-management communications that include UCLA’s response to "a campaign of targeted bombings against biomedical research faculty," according to a statement from Penn State.
Prior to UCLA, Lokman was VP of the Rogers Group, a senior communications consultant for the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power, and VP of programs for the Century Council.
Lokman was not immediately available for comment.