By Lofton Stuart Jr., executive director, UT Alumni Association
Over the past 18 months, members of the Alumni Association’s Strategic Planning Committee committed countless hours to assisting our organization as we prepare a road map for the next five years. During this process, I often remarked that among the major accomplishments of this project was not only coming up with a dynamic, forward-thinking plan but also the opportunity for all of our various constituents and partners to discuss openly our strengths (as well as our needs). Thanks to all who served for being an active and important part of this project.
As we discussed during the strategic planning process, internal and external communication are critical to our success. So I want to communicate to you how the operational and implementation elements of our plan are being put into place. Some of the major points are as follows:
Over the next few weeks a task force on chapter organization and structure will take a look at all aspects of our alumni chapter program and make recommendations for how chapters should be organized, staffed, and maintained in the future. I would expect recommendations from this task force to be considered by the Board of -Governors at next June’s board meeting.
We are meeting regularly with our campus alumni directors to talk about the lifecycle approach to alumni engagement and other activities, with the goal of appealing directly to each age group according to its specific needs and interests. These changes will have an immediate and significant effect on how we communicate with our diverse alumni base.
We are in the process of implementing a new information management system that will allow us to improve our ability to connect with alumni. This new system offers a more advanced suite of tools for e-mail marketing, event registration, content management, data collection, and social networking, and it works seamlessly with our existing system.
New Assistant Vice President of Communications
Tiffany Carpenter, UT’s new assistant vice-president of communications for the alumni and development offices, is developing a communications plan for the alumni association and working closely with other system and campus communicators to coordinate efforts and share content to make the best use of print and electronic media.
10-Year Financial Model
We have developed a 10-year financial model that will provide a stable source of funding to our association and our campus alumni offices. This model will allow us to better serve our growing alumni base by affording new staff positions and increased operating dollars.
New Board Structure
A transition committee of the alumni Board of Governors is assisting with a plan to downsize the board. The objective is a smaller (32 members) highly engaged group of volunteers who will bring specific talents to the governance of the association. An advisory council of as many as 100 members will be appointed to increase alumni representation and to work in conjunction with the Board of Governors.
The final task force is now looking at survey results that indicate a strong alumni interest in career services and networking programs. This group is evaluating some of the best alumni career programs across the country and will recommend programs to be implemented by the UTAA.
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