Alumni director wants full-time staffer
Baldrige self-study report advises customer focus group to improve stakeholder system.
Published: Thursday, April 12, 2012
Updated: Thursday, April 12, 2012 15:04
Pamela Tyler, director of institutional advancement, said a full-time employee is needed to promote alumni to have a successful alumni association at this college at Thursday’s customer focus performance excellence advisory group.
The group is one of seven advisory groups introduced in September 2010 as part of a change management model to recommend suggestions to improve the college.
“I don’t think that’s within our scope,” Mona Aldana-Ramirez, customer focus PEAG facilitator and director of retention support services, said.
Jacob Wong, Student Government Association president and psychology sophomore, said the PEAG does not have to recommend hiring but should recommend creating a position.
“The benefits outweigh the costs … everybody’s got blinders on up in administration and district, and they don’t see how much this could influence or impact out in the community and how much this gains for the college,” he said. “We sit here in neutral if we never have the ability to take that forward.”
Aldana-Ramirez said the college administration ultimately determines what is needed when recommendations are made.
Tyler suggested that the college could hire a student to work 19 hours and would be willing to volunteer additional hours.
“It’s good if it’s run by a student because the student is going to be your best advocate,” she said.
Tyler said she would like a full-time employee to operate the association, but she is dedicated and willing to work for the association to be successful.
“I want to leave a legacy for San Antonio College,” she said.
Tyler said the community wants an active alumni association but does not understand that it takes time to build one.
“Until we get those right tools in place, we can’t move forward. We have to build a foundation,” she said.
Tyler said the biggest problem in the district is communication.
“You can’t go out and solicit for alumni when you can’t respond to them in a timely manner,” she said.
Tyler said in the past, there was an alumni association, but the college cannot operate one without proper communication or software.
She said she is working with a new system that can aid communication with alumni, and her next step is to work with Joe Jacques, assistant director of admissions, to mine data and update files from enrollment records.
“I can randomly send things out to our community, but that doesn’t necessarily mean those students are still there. But you want to get a good database and then you’ve got to ask your alum what do they want, what was special about San Antonio College,” Tyler said.
Mortuary science Professor Mary Mena said one way the mortuary science department communicates with alumni is by inviting them on trips to fill up buses when not enough students sign up.
Tyler said the nursing department also keeps in touch with alumni.
The PEAG recommended cultivating a list of alumni by inventorying programs and departments who are already working with alumni.
The group addressed areas for improvement identified by the Baldrige report.
Seven PEAGs originated from an application submitted by the performance enhancement team, PET, to the Quality Texas Foundation, which suggested areas to improve and strengths to build on after evaluating the results a self-study report on this college.
Quality Texas encourages the use of the Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence model, an organizational self-assessment and self-improvement process that measures institutional efficiency, for performance excellence and other methods that drive efficiency and effectiveness.
Since Chancellor Bruce Leslie’s arrival in 2006, he has promoted use of the Baldrige model.
The report said the college is lacking:
• an approach or support for students and stakeholders to seek information to ensure that contact requirements are deployed,
• a systematic approach to listen to stakeholders other than students who will identify and address key markets,
• events that build engagement with stakeholders other than students that is critical to applicants’ aim at improving student retention and graduation rates,
• and a process to seek stakeholder needs and satisfaction that will encourage long-standing ties.
A stakeholder refers to all groups that are or might be affected by an organization’s actions and success.
Aldana-Ramirez said the leadership PEAG referred to the customer focus PEAG a criticism of a lack of evidence of how the college effectively addresses and manages its impact on society.
She said when discussing the issue with the leadership PEAG, she mentioned that as a graduate of St. Mary’s University, she receives the Gold & Blue magazine, a magazine produced for alumni and friends of the institution three times a year, that shows academic excellence through significant achievements of the alumni community.
In another example, Aldana-Ramirez said Dr. Vincent Lin, a St. Mary’s alumnus, who donated money to the university when his mother Shu-Chi Lin died, generated the Lin Great Speakers Series.