It is my pleasure to give you a mid-year update on the UNC Kenan-Flagler Alumni Council’s activities. Created in 2006, the Council is now beginning its fifth year. Comprised of key alumni from each of UNC Kenan-Flagler’s degree programs, the mission of the Alumni Council is twofold:
- Advise the Dean on key issues affecting UNC Kenan-Flagler
- Act as ambassadors for UNC Kenan-Flagler, both internally and externally, by aiding in student recruitment, the educational experience, job placement and development
The Alumni Council meets twice a year in Chapel Hill and typically focuses on one or two key issues facing the school. Historically, we have covered issues such as the impact of faculty research, how the school communicates through social media, our global branding strategy, and the Dean’s Leadership Initiative. Specific recommendations are submitted to the Dean at the conclusion of each meeting.
At our recent meeting in May 2010, we focused our attention on the “Total Alumni Engagement Experience.” As you all know, UNC Kenan-Flagler goes to great lengths to recruit and educate some of the brightest young business talent in the world. Maintaining a connection with that talent, the UNC Kenan-Flagler family, if you will, in the years and decades after graduation is a critical factor in deepening and extending the value of a UNC business degree.
In examining ways to enhance the alumni engagement experience, the Council looked at the issue from its foundational level and asked the question, “From the time a new student first enters the doors of McColl, what are we doing to maximize the lifetime relationship that person has with UNC Kenan-Flagler throughout that person’s life and career?” As a benchmark, we asked a senior administration member from the Haas School of Business at the University of California Berkeley to participate in part of our discussion. The meeting resulted in a multitude of specific recommendations for the Dean, including:
- Create and reinforce an appreciation for the history and heritage of UNC Kenan-Flagler, beginning on a student’s the first day of class.
- Develop a set of core principals (in addition to our Core Values) to make “staying connected” and “giving back” key parts of the UNC Kenan-Flagler culture.
- Continually reinforce that approximately 20% of UNC Kenan-Flagler’s annual budget is provided by alumni donations, so giving back to UNC Kenan-Flagler in the future is the best way to ensure that future students have the same quality experience.
- Enlist alumni to speak to student groups about the importance of staying connected to UNC Kenan-Flagler throughout their lives and careers.
This is just a small subset of the numerous recommendations made by the Alumni Council. We plan to continue our work on this important topic at our next meeting.
While the Alumni Council is a relatively young body, I believe it has had an important impact on the school and provided the Dean with an additional resource in charting UNC Kenan-Flagler’s future. I would like to personally thank all 23 members of the Alumni Council, as well as the Dean and his staff, for all of their hard work and dedication to our school. I am honored to work with such a talented group of people over the coming year as Chairman of the Alumni Council.
Jeff Tucker (MBA 2000)
Alumni Council Chairman 2010-2011