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Articles: Alumni Relations

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.

Female graduates receive fewer solicitations for donations, and they give at a lower rate than do their male counterparts, according to the “Alumni Engagement and Giving” survey by Alumni Monitor, a higher education consulting service.

Alumni. That’s what alumni association magazines should, to a much greater extent, be about. At least they should if we want them to do better at marketing the university.

With the need to host both one-on-one donor chats plus receptions for a hundred or more alumni and friends, campus alumni houses tend to be versatile venues. While great rooms must have space for that next big event, the aim is for an intimate group not to feel swallowed up by the space.

New football teams continue to take the field at colleges and universities each fall, overcoming criticism—from within higher ed and from outside—that sports programs not only suck up money desperately needed by academic departments but also drive up tuition and student fees.

Ohio State, Arizona State, Creighton (Neb.), Bentley (Mass.), George Mason (Va.) and Purdue (Ind.) universities are among the first that have hired Gallup to survey their alumni to gather data on their graduates’ well-being and workplace engagement.

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