The Offices of Alumni Relations and the Alumni Fund have merged into a single Office of Alumni Engagement, Office of College Relations (OCR) Vice President Megan Morey announced in an email. sent to the OCR on April 6, indicating that the change would be effective immediately. Both teams now report to Laura Day ʼ04, who previously oversaw the Alumni Fund office. Brooks Foehl ʼ88, the executive director of alumni relations, will work closely with Day “to determine how best to integrate and organize the full range of talent, expertise and potential” of both teams, the e -mail.
In his email, Morey said the merger will allow the OCR to succeed in its efforts to “secure and celebrate the involvement and support of all alumni” as well as “intensify its efforts to help alumni.” to reimagine their connection to the college”. which are the two objectives set out in the College’s 2022 strategic plan.
The merger also aims to reduce redundancy between the two offices, Morey said in an interview with the Record. “It was an opportunity to reflect on the nature of communications these days and to bring together resources from both sides – Alumni Fund and Alumni Relations – instead of having two people doing the same things in each office,” she said. The decision was made in a changing landscape of alumni engagement. “There’s a growing alumni network — we’re now over 30,000 alumni,” Morey said. “We can’t keep growing the Alumni Relations Office to have this ratio of alumni to alumni relations officers.”
Day, now Assistant Vice President (AVP) for Alumni Engagement, noted in an email to Record that many peer institutions have also moved to a merged system, which can provide better insights into engagement trends and alumni needs. Carleton, Swarthmore, and Colgate, for example, all organize their alumni relations offices the same way. “These offices are key collaborators whether they are in a single vertical on an org chart or in sibling verticals,” she wrote.
Asked about the decision-making process, and in particular the staff involved in the choice, Morey declined to comment on people she spoke to before finalizing the decision to merge the two offices. “There were a few people who asked me, ‘Why didn’t you get us involved in the process’, and my response to that is, ‘You get involved in the process – at some point you learn more about it. on [the merger] for the first time, and that first time is a shock,” she said.
Still, Morey stressed that no employee will lose their jobs – rather, she hopes the merger will create room for more promotions among staff – and that employees who previously worked in alumni relations will not be asked to leave. raise funds in their new office.
No employees of the new Office of Graduate Engagement, except for Morey and Day, responded to a request for comment from the Record. “Times of transition like this are especially difficult,” Day wrote in his email. “Each staff member is going through a range of emotions associated with this change, including excitement, surprise, possibility, confusion and loss.”
The day after news of the merger broke, former assistant director of alumni relations Ashley Weeks Cart ’05 tendered her resignation to Morey, making April 8 her last day at work after 12 years in the role. In January, Cart informed Morey and HR that she planned to step down on June 30, at the end of the fiscal year, to pursue a career as an artist. She told the Record that his decision to leave early was a direct response to the merger announcement.
“I just didn’t feel comfortable sitting for three months in a space with people who made a very seismic decision on behalf of 30,000 alumni and without including voices, perspectives and the experience of my 12 colleagues who do this job every day,” says Cart. “There are ways of saying that [the merger] would be a good direction to take – to which my reply is that nobody knew and nobody was informed.
In addition to delivering the announcement, Cart took issue with the timing of the change, as Alumni Relations was preparing for the first in-person meeting in three years as well as make-up meetings for those that were canceled due to the pandemic and the Class of 2020 Celebration Weekend.
“People are managing so much already,” Cart said. “For this kind of massive change to happen so suddenly, people don’t even really have the bandwidth to absorb what’s happening.”
Morey said there wouldn’t have been a perfect time to implement the merger. “You could say I should have waited [until] July 1, then there would be a counter to that,” she said. “Although [Alumni Relations] could continue to operate as they are organized by the end of the fiscal year…I wanted to get it started.