Faculty Exchange Program Brings Brigham Young Professor to Morgan

The MSU Spokesman


Brigham Young University professor Doug McKinlay sells a career in advertising to Morgan students
Brigham Young University professor Doug McKinlay sells a career in advertising to Morgan students.

“You will never be bored in advertising because there is always something new going on,” Doug McKinlay, an associate professor at Brigham Young University, told a classroom of Morgan students last week. “In the morning you’re selling dog food and when the afternoon comes you’ll be selling jet engines.”

McKinlay was on campus for a week-long faculty exchange program between Morgan’s School of Global Journalism and Communication and BYU’s Department of Communications. While McKinlay was at Morgan, SGJC sent Assistant Professor Pia Jordan to Brigham Young. The faculty exchange program promotes diversity at Brigham Young. BYU has 30,000 students but only 265 black students. Among the 1500 full-time faculty there is one full-time black professor.

While at Morgan, McKinlay visited classes, gave a lecture, held one-on-one meetings with students—and spoke passionately about the joys of marketing and advertising.

“It’s not like math, marketing is way funner than that,” he said. This is a field that keeps you on your toes. “Advertising is about solving problems. If you don’t like solving problems advertising is probably not for you.”

Pacing the room in his florescent yellow polo and matching tennis shoes, McKinlay offered career advice and urged students to develop a professional portfolio before they got out of school. “An ad agency will say ‘show me, don’t tell me what you can do.’ You demonstrate your skills through your portfolio.”

McKinlay has looked at plenty of portfolios in his day. Before coming to BYU 13 years ago, he spent almost three decades in the field, first working for General Electric then cofounding Connecticut-based Keiler and McKinlay Advertising. In 1980, he started his own advertising company, McKinlay and Partners, which he ran for 17 years.

Today, he runs BYU’s AdLab, a hands-on program where students partner with companies to produce ads and marketing campaigns. Described on the BYU website as a “student run, professionally mentored advertising agency,” the Adlab provides facilities but students do the work, creating ads for Doritos, Nike, Verizon, Taco Bell and Gatorade, among others.

He is proud of his BYU students but sees promise in Morgan students. “I get a vibe here that’s kinda neat,” he said. “I had breakfast with your Dean this morning and said, ‘I love your kids.’”

McKinlay told the class, “You’re engaged and you have energy and you really have a desire. You don’t need a high IQ in this business—I don’t’ have a high IQ—but you need energy, drive and desire.”

For her part, Morgan’s Professor Jordan, described the BYU students she visited in Utah as “appreciative and receptive.” Jordan, who worked in commercial television and radio for more than 30 years before coming to teach at Morgan, spent the week lecturing and teaching in five classes dealing with topics such as reporting, producing, journalism and religion, enterprise reporting and global communication.

Describing the experience as “valuable,” Jordan said, “I am used to teaching in a predominantly black institution and since BYU is a traditionally white institution, I was able to gauge my effectiveness speaking to predominantly white students.”

Photo by Jacqueline Jones