Alumni Advisory Task Force, Invited Participants:
- L. David Eaton, Vice President for Enrollment Management (Chair)
- Brenda Dow, Director of Alumni Relations (Vice Chair)
- Brian Williams, Associate Director, Athletics, Recreation and Wellness
- Shana Circe, Recruitment Coordinator, Undergraduate Admissions*
- Juliet Coxum, President, Alumni Association*
- Alan Dunefsky, Special Projects, Development Office*
- Robin Cohen-LaValle, Associate Dean of Students, Student Development*
- Suzanne Grady, Director, Office of Communication and Marketing
- Ted Clark, Lecturer, School of Business
To be named, Foundation Board Director*
* = alumnus/alumna
View the Alumni Strategic Plan (announced September 2013)
A Global View of the SUNY New Paltz Alumni Community
Declaring that SUNY New Paltz alumni “are among our greatest resources,” President Donald P. Christian has announced steps that he believes will allow the College “to do a vastly better job of building a worldwide alumni community.”
“We are a global institution with graduates living in countries around the world,” he said. “We have an obligation – indeed, a privilege – to engage them in the exciting future that awaits their alma mater.”
Dr. Christian noted that Brenda Dow has been named director of the office of alumni relations and brings to the position skills, experience, and enthusiasm to help build the relationships and initiatives needed for a truly effective alumni relations program.
The president announced the formation of a task force that will be charged with creating a draft mission statement and a draft strategic plan for the office of alumni relations that is congruent with and supportive of the College’s institutional priorities and SUNY System guidelines. The task force will be chaired by L. David Eaton, vice president for enrollment management; Dow will serve as vice chair. The task force will complete its work by June 30, 2013, at which time it will be dissolved.
“This is an opportune moment for bold action in envisioning what a world-class alumni engagement program can be,” Christian said. “We intend to seize it.”
The full text of President Christian’s charge to the task force follows:
Charge to Ad Hoc Advisory Task Force (January 23, 2013)
The State University of New York at New Paltz boasts more than 60,000 alumni residing in many countries around the world. We are proud of their talents and accomplishments, and we value their affection for, and support of, their alma mater. They are among our greatest resources.
We have an opportunity right now to do a vastly better job than we have done in building a worldwide community of SUNY New Paltz alumni. Strengthening our ties with our graduates is not only the right thing to do but it is something we must do if the College is to thrive and continue to educate new generations of students.
The recent appointment of Ms. Brenda Dow as director of alumni relations brings an experienced and enthusiastic professional to the task of building an outstanding alumni office and program. It is appropriate at the start of her tenure that we engage in a thoughtful discussion of the mission of the office of alumni relations and the development of a strategic plan that creates a blueprint for the steps needed to bring that mission to life.
With this in mind, I have asked L. David Eaton, vice president of enrollment management, to convene and chair an advisory ad hoc task force to create a draft mission statement and a draft strategic plan for the office of alumni relations. Brenda Dow will serve as vice chair. The draft documents will be reviewed and acted upon by me and my Cabinet. Mr. Eaton and Ms. Dow will select task force members. In addition, I will ask the chair of the Foundation Board to nominate a member, and I will ask the president of the SUNY New Paltz Alumni Association to serve.
My charge to the task force is this:
- Create a draft mission statement for review and approval by my Cabinet and me that can guide our engagement of alumni around the world in support of the College.
- Develop a draft strategic plan for the office of alumni relations that will coordinate alumni outreach across the campus and bring the mission statement to life.
- Ensure that the strategic plan is in compliance with SUNY System guidelines and regulations concerning alumni activity in support of the College.
- Complete its work and report back to me no later than June 30, 2013, at which time the task force will be dissolved.
Donald P. Christian
Alumni announcement from President Christian (emailed to alumni on July 24, 2013):
Task Force Creates Alumni Engagement Initiative
The State University of New York at New Paltz has developed a strategic plan to engage the college's world-wide community of graduates in the life of SUNY New Paltz in new and meaningful ways. This plan was drafted by a task force of alumni, faculty, staff, and administrators appointed by President Donald Christian this spring; the final draft of the report was submitted to President Christian today.
The task force conducted focus group interviews with alumni and current students and reviewed and analyzed archival information, publications, and research on alumni relations regarding best practices of colleges and universities around the country. Selected recommendations of the draft include:
- To develop a broadly representative alumni advisory board that will work with the Director of Alumni Relations and college faculty and administration to advance the objectives of the strategic plan.
- To create institutional services specifically designed for alumni, including career and professional development services and opportunities, and promotion of opportunities for new graduates.
- To expand opportunities for alumni involvement in the college, serving as guest speakers or project mentors, assisting with new student recruitment, and arranging internships and volunteer experiences for students.
- To develop programs and activities on-campus and around the globe that bring alumni together for social and intellectually enriching experiences.
- To develop social networking sites that promote alumni interaction with other alumni and with faculty and staff.
"Strengthening ties with alumni will be one of our highest strategic priorities during the next several years," Christian said. "Alumni embody the values included in our institution's DNA, and they are an essential part of our community today and for the future."
SUNY New Paltz hosts its 2013 Reunion, September 20-22, and welcomes all alumni back to the campus to connect with each other and with the College of today. Information is available at www.newpaltz.edu/alumni.