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Articles: Alumni Relations

Here’s what colleges paying attention to the potential of digital signage as a revenue source—directly or indirectly—are doing to make it work.

Their form and function may vary, but there’s one trait nearly every president’s residence has in common: It’s much more than just a home.

EXCHANGE ARRANGED—Wayne State was selected to host a group of 100 Iraqi students as part of the Iraqi Young Leaders Exchange Program, a one-month study opportunity in the U.S.

A survey of 112 American colleges and universities shows a 2 percent dip in international student yield for fall 2017, from 26 percent in fall 2016 to the current 24 percent, according to the Institute of International Education (IIE).

Marc C. Whitt is director of philanthropy communications at the University of Kentucky Office of Philanthropy. He may be followed on LinkedIn (linkedin.com/in/marcwhitt) or Twitter (@marcwhitt).

In a 2017 study conducted by the Pew Research Center, nearly 7 in 10 Americans reported using social media “to connect with one another, engage with news content, share information and entertain themselves.”

Higher ed institutions—capitalizing on the popularity of the digital pictographs—now offer customized sets of emojis featuring school logos, mascots and other themed graphics, such as smiling or winking faces.

James Muyskens is a professor at the Graduate Center, CUNY, and former president of CUNY Queens College.

The weakest link in the expanding instructional continuum—where we are least successful—is in general education and freshman introductory courses.

Kristi Eaves-McLennan is executive director of marketing for Meredith College in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Trademark licensing is big business for big universities. The International Licensing Industry Merchandisers Association estimates collegiate licensing programs raked in $209 million in 2015.

Joseph Brennan is vice president of communications and marketing, and clinical professor of business at the University at Albany. Mark Weaver owns Communications Counsel, an Ohio-based firm that advises universities on crisis communications. He teaches at The Ohio State University College of Law, the University of Akron, and the School of Government at University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

Based on our decades of experience counseling campus CEOs, we’ve identified the key behaviors successful presidents use to lead their institutions through the tough times.

“The last thing colleges want to do is put a former student in collections,” says Harrison Wadsworth, executive director of the Coalition of Higher Education Assistance Organizations. But when internal efforts to collect tuition don’t work, it’s important to have somewhere to turn for help.

Higher ed institutions in the U.S. lead the world when it comes to producing graduates who go on to create unicorns—private start-up companies worth in excess of $1 billion, such as Uber, Facebook or SpaceX.

Plenty can go wrong during a presidential turnover—imagine the new leader earning a faculty vote of no confidence early on, or not recognizing a million-dollar donor at a reception. 

Traditionally, student success programs have focused primarily on transitioning first-year students from home to college. But now more higher ed leaders are realizing that to retain students and help them make informed decisions, they must expand these efforts to sophomores.

To keep Stanford front and center in the minds and hearts of its graduates, the university’s alumni association—like other institutions—is investing time on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

Roxanne Shiels is alumni strategist for Penn State Outreach and Online Education. She can be reached at rch104@psu.edu.

As growing numbers of students pursue degrees online, a new constituency in higher education is being created: alumni who have completed their studies without setting foot on campus. That presents a challenge for those of us in alumni relations.

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