Forging a Framework for the Future

Forging a Framework for the Future

In June, the UT Alumni Association will see the future. That’s when the first draft of its new strategic plan will be revealed—a blueprint for the association for the next decade. Meanwhile, thousands of alumni are contributing their input by answering surveys and serving on task forces.
Chairs of the Strategic Plan Steering Committee are Debbie Diddle of Knoxville, former president of the UTAA, and Henry Nemcik, UT vice-president for development and alumni affairs. This is the first formal plan in the association’s 174-year history. Its goals are to:

  • evaluate the UTAA and campus alumni programs in light of changing university and campus relationships,
  • identify best practices, and
  • study, plan, and implement programs, communications, funding, and structures to best serve alumni.

Five task forces composed of alumni representatives are looking at the issues of alumni programming, database management, market segmentation, legislative relations, and a viable financial model for the association. Surveys were sent late last year to 138,000 alumni asking their opinions. The UTAA Board of Governors will consider the final plan in June. If board members approve, it will go into effect in fiscal year 2011.
“Alumni input is driving the process,” says Lofton Stuart, head of the university-wide alumni program. “This is very much about putting forth a plan for an association that works for its members.”

Assisting with the study is the Napa Group of Novato, California, a strategic planning firm that specializes in higher education and alumni associations. The firm was selected by a competitive bid process.

Besides Debbie Diddle and Henry Nemcik, these are the members of the steering committee:
Dan Brown, UTAA president
Mike Moss, UTAA president-elect
Ford Little, UTAA immediate past president
Lynne Fain, UTAA past presidents representative
Spruell Driver, UT Board of Trustees representative
Mintha Roach, UT Knoxville alumni representative
Mark Warren, UT Martin alumni representative
Jim Morris, UT Health Science Center representative
Mark Clark, UT Institute of Agriculture representative
Marty Begalla, UTAA Women’s Council representative
Emmett Edwards, UTAA Legislative Council representative
Kim Cross, out-of-state representative
Kevin Clark, out-of-state representative
Chaz Molder, UTAA young alumni representative
Debbie Ingram, faculty representative
Joe Johnson, UT president emeritus
Lofton Stuart, UTAA executive director
Kerry Witcher, UTAA assistant vice-president/alumni affairs
Linda Davidson, UT Knoxville vice-chancellor
Bob Lyon, UT Chattanooga vice-chancellor
Len Solomons, UT Martin vice-chancellor
Linda Garceau-Luis, UTHSC vice-chancellor
Martha Masengill, UTAA staff liaison