Construction Management pays tribute to the late Jim Young, former faculty member

James W. Young, CM former facultyCSU’s Department of Construction Management grieves the loss of a friend and former faculty member, James W. (Jim) Young, who passed on January 15, 2021, just shy of his 93rd birthday. Born in Indiana, and graduating from Stout Institute (now the University of Wisconsin – Stout) with an M.S. degree in Industrial Education, Young went on to play a significant role in the development and progressive formation of CSU’s Department of Construction Management.

First full-time construction education professor

In 1962, Young was the first full-time construction education professor hired specifically from industry to teach in the Industrial-Construction Management (ICM) program. Named program coordinator of Light-Construction and Marketing, Young increased industry liaisons, and initiated numerous curriculum changes to address the needs of industry. During this time, he was also a founding member of the Associated Schools of Construction.

Additionally in 1962, Young developed the first specifications and contracts course, which was added to other courses required for ICM students. Young and two other industry representatives hired as faculty, were largely responsible for developing new courses in construction management.

In Young’s words, from the CSU CM history book, “The first courses I taught when I was hired in the early 1960s, were three different courses in architectural drafting plus construction specifications and contracts. I also taught a descriptive geometry course. Between lectures and labs, a teaching load might be as much as 24 to 28 classroom hours, which didn’t leave much room for ‘development’ work, student advising, etc. Research efforts were little emphasized in the department early on.”

Establishing the Associated Schools of Construction

In March of 1965, Young joined 13 other construction education faculty from eight universities to explore forming an association of construction educators. The minutes of the initial meeting state: “In the early 1960s, it was noted that of the many existent professional and educational societies concerned with building, none provided a place, a welcome, or any benefit whatever for curriculums with the teaching of construction as a major objective.”

In the mid-60s, Young was the first to receive industry support to attend the National Associated General Contractors annual meeting. Young’s attendance at this meeting was the start of a long relationship between Colorado State University’s ICM program and the AGC’s education committee. This committee developed comprehensive recommendations for education for the construction industry, which were used to develop the ICM curriculum.

Again, from the CM history book, Young noted, “Establishment of the Associated Schools of Construction had the single greatest impact on our program’s direction. Everyone in the ASC realized that our program’s future depended on developing consistent goals for the direction of construction education. While establishing those goals took quite some time, the ASC and the subsequent development of the American Council for Construction Education were the keystones that made the University acknowledge the value of this program.”

Young served as the department’s Program Coordinator of Light-Construction and Marketing from 1962 to 1975, and from 1986 to 1992. He retired from the CM department in 1992 – a total of nineteen years serving in the program in which he had started his academic career. He and his wife relocated to Wisconsin to begin enjoying retirement years.

Legacies Project feature

A debt of gratitude is owed Young for his foresight and initiative expressed in his field of construction education. The department is grateful for his many contributions. Current department head for construction management, Paul Goodrum, commented upon hearing the news of Young’s death.

“It is with a heavy heart that I share the passing of Jim Young,” said Goodrum. “Jim served as a faculty member in the CM Department from 1962 to 1976 and from 1986 to 1992. Jim had an incredible impact on the Department of Construction Management and construction education. He was recognized by the College of Health and Human Sciences in 2013 as part of the Legacies Project. Jim was involved in the creation of the Associated Schools of Construction and actively involved during his career, including serving as ASC President, 1978-1979.

Even though Jim retired from the department twenty-eight years ago, he continued to be involved with the department as a supporter, a member of the Professional Advisory and Development Board, and a friend.”

Young’s obituary can be found here.

The Department of Construction Management is part of CSU’s College of Health and Human Sciences.