Unlike many higher ed bloggers, I wasn't moved to do a year-end overview for 2009. But (at the risk of sounding pessimistic) I will look ahead at some of the large issues facing many – perhaps most – alumni associations.
My belief that these issues are becoming central to our profession was reinforced last week at the meeting of the Association of Private College and University Alumni Directors (PCUAD) in Atlanta*. Many discussions among the thirty or so alumni executives present touched in one way or another on points that I am already concerned about. So what am I concerned about?
- I'm concerned about "mattering."
- I'm concerned about our role as conveners.
- I'm concerned because we've lost our monopoly on data.
With these concerns in mind, here are two additional questions to consider.
- Instead of doing many little things, as we have mostly done, should alumni associations focus on delivering a few larger programs and services, more central to the institution's core mission?
- Should we focus more on supporting and connecting to the academic side of the institution? (Look for a guest blog post about this topic in the coming weeks.)
I've already mentioned several of these topics here in the last year, and most were originally raised first by others. I'm not claiming to be the first person to ask every one of these questions, I just want to generate in-depth conversation about them.
Please leave a comment or email me and continue the discussion.