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Working with Alumni Relations and University Advancement

As chair, you have an important role in the department’s relationship with alumni and donors. 

Periodically, University Advancement will send you a list of recent donations to your department’s funds (scholarship, chair discretionary, etc.)  Be sure that you or someone in the department acknowledges these gifts, preferably with a personal note.

A word of caution is in order in regard to fund-raising.  The “ask” should always come from a member of the University Advancement Office, not from you.  University Advancement carefully coordinates fund raising efforts to avoid a potential donor from receiving multiple “asks” from different people.  You can and should, however, make University Advancement aware of potential donors, and find out from them how you can best assist in cultivating relationships with these donors.

A member of the University Advancement team has been assigned to your college or program.  Contact the Advancement office (advancement@apsu.edu, 221-7121) and ask for the name of this person.  You can help your advancement liaison by

The Office of Alumni Relations works in very close cooperation with the University Advancement team. (http://www.alumni.apsu.edu/s/1806/17/interior.aspx?sid=1806&gid=2&pgid=458) Here are some ways that your department can work together with the Alumni Relations team to maintain relationships with your alums:

If your program or college has a chapter, attending chapter events will help you to maintain a relationship between your department and its alums. 

http://www.alumni.apsu.edu/s/1806/17/interior.aspx?sid=1806&gid=2&pgid=910&cid=2239

Since most donors donate to scholarship funds, the Director of Donor Relations and Scholarships (adkisonk@apsu.edu) is an important part of the fund-raising picture.  Do you have scholarships that are difficult to award because the donors criteria are too restrictive?  (For example, the donor may have specified that the scholarship only to go Cheatham County Students, but in some years there are no Cheatham county students in your major, etc.)  Your scholarship committee must follow the donors’ criteria when awarding scholarships, but if you let the Director of Donor Relations and Scholarships know of problems with the criteria, they may be able to work with the donor to revise the criteria. 

One final word regarding alums.  Take advantage of their expertise!  Some programs have Advisory Boards composed of alums and other members of the community with expertise in their discipline.  Members of these boards can advise you on curricular matters, help you find internships for your students, keep you abreast of trends in the job market, etc.  Working on a departmental self-study?  An alumni focus group can give insight into your program that it would be impossible to obtain any other way.