Report of the Alumni Relations Committee

For the Year 2004-2005

Presented to the University Senate

May 6, 2005


Last year saw the committee’s reactivation, and we decided to spend the year in a general survey of the state of alumni relations.  We accomplished this by interviewing a series of administrators, deans and alumni leaders.  We summarized our findings in the report made to the Senate last April.  Copies of this report were also provided to the appropriate members of the Trustees.


This year, we decided to focus on surveying the alumni to get a better understanding of their demographics, needs and opinions.  As Eric Furda, Committee Member and Vice President for Alumni Affairs, was about to undertake such a survey as part of the larger effort to restructure and improve the alumni relations function at Columbia, it was decided that the Committee would advise him on the structure and content of the survey, as well as possible uses for the data. A draft of the survey in its current (near final) state follows.


Over several meetings throughout the year, the Committee structured and revised the survey. The goals of the alumni survey are to solicit accurate and reliable contact information, to definite points of interest for future engagement efforts, and to establish grounds for future communication in order to promote interaction with and among the University’s alumni.  It was also necessary to create a survey that was brief enough to encourage participation but thorough enough to inform future planning.


 The final survey will be polished by Royall & Company, a direct marketing firm specializing in higher-education marketing.  The survey is tentatively scheduled to be emailed and mailed to approximately 100,000 alumni in June, 2005.  The Committee will report on the findings of the survey when they become available.  We look forward to the results and feel that they will provide significant insight into the issues the committee identified last year, and in the Administration’s efforts to raise alumni relations at Columbia to a new level.


The committee will be meeting over the summer to begin to determine its goals for the 2005-2006 year.





Respectfully submitted,


Linda Beck (Non-tenured, Barnard)

Bradley W. Bloch (Alumni), Chair

Kevin J. Collins (Alumni)

Eric J. Furda (VP of University Alumni Relations)

Allen Hyman (Tenured. Non-Sen., HS)

Jen Schnidman (Student, CC)

Columbia University Alumni Electronic Survey

Draft 4/29/05



Welcome. The promise of Columbia 250 has been realized, but the era of improved connection with and among Columbia alumni is only just beginning!


In Columbia 251, the Office of Alumni Relations will be busy reviewing all the ways in which the University can bring value to your life as we improve existing programs and begin initiatives designed to better serve you.


We need your ideas to direct our strategic planning. By responding to the questions that follow, you can help us target our efforts to meet your expressed needs and wants. Your participation in this study is critical to our success. We appreciate your complete and candid responses to all of the questions.


To begin, review the following information. It represents the data we currently have on file for you. Where appropriate, please provide additional or updated information. We respect your privacy. Any information you provide will not be shared outside the Columbia University community and will only be used for institutional purposes, including our efforts to better meet your needs as a graduate of Columbia University.


Please navigate through the survey by clicking the "Back" and "Next" buttons at the bottom of each survey page. Do not use the browser's "back" and "forward" buttons or your answers may not be saved.









Please review the information below. It reflects your current alumni profile at Columbia University. Please update any field below that you wish to have modified in our records, including information that is missing, inaccurate, or out-of-date. 


[Pre-populated personal information form with request to update and/or correct information.  Drop-down boxes will be used when appropriate.]



First Name                  


Middle Name 


Last Name 


Maiden Name 


Preferred First Name  










Zip Code




Email Address


Marital Status







Undergraduate Degree






Graduation Date




Graduate Degree (completed or in process)




Field of Study


(Expected) Date of receipt




Current Employment


Employer Name









How connected do you feel to Columbia University?

o    Not very connected

o    Somewhat connected

o    Moderately connected

o    Very connected



At this time, would you say you are satisfied or dissatisfied with your sense of connection to Columbia? 

o    Satisfied  

o    Dissatisfied





There are different types of organizations that can help you stay connected to Columbia and your fellow Columbians.  In terms of your personal interests, which of the following are most appealing to you? (check up to three)

 A University-wide alumni association

 School-based associations (Business, Engineering, Arts, etc.)

 Regional (by geography) clubs

 The Columbia Club of New York

 Alumni affinity groups (organized by race, gender, sexual orientation, etc.)

 Professional interests (e.g., alumni in financial services, medicine, or diplomacy)

      Please specify [textbox up to 250 characters]

 None of the above at this time



There are many different on-campus events that allow alumni to connect with Columbia.   Which of the following are you interested in attending on a regular basis (i.e., at least annually)?



 Faculty speakers

 Networking events

 Family events

 Social mixers

 Athletic events

 Other (please specify) [textbox up to 250 characters]

 None of the above at this time



There are numerous ways in which alumni can draw upon Columbia’s rich intellectual resources.  Which of the following are you most likely to participate in over the next five years?

(check up to three)

 Professional development/Continuing education

 Career education

 Alumni travel-study programs

 Online library resources

 Faculty scholarship


 Course auditing/Lifelong learning programs

 None of the above



Considering your personal or work-related needs, which of the following statements best describes where Columbia fits in the picture?

oI always (and almost instinctively) think about the resources available at Columbia.

o    I sometimes think about resources available at Columbia.

o    I rarely think about resources available at Columbia.

o    I never think about resources available at Columbia.




Many alumni want to know when Columbia and its alumni, faculty, and students are in the news.  Which of the following topics would you most like to hear about? (check up to three)

 Faculty achievements

 Student life

 Columbia and Arts and Culture

 Columbia and the Social Sciences

 Columbia and Science and Technology

 Columbia and New York

 Other (please specify) [textbox for 250 characters]

 None of the above. [skip to 1.7]




How would you prefer to receive information about Columbia and its alumni, faculty, and students?


 Other direct mail

 Electronic newsletter


 Alumni@Columbia website postings

 Other (please specify) [textbox for 250 characters]

 I prefer not to receive communications from Alumni Relations [ERIC:  You may or may not want to provide this type of “opt out” option.]




There are many opportunities for Columbia alumni to stay involved with the university.  Which of the following are ways in which you’re most likely to be involved in the next five years? (check up to three)

 Leading Alumni volunteer leadership

 Mentoring current students

 Providing financial support

 Participating in class/school outreach activities

 Conducting Admissions interviews

 Other volunteer opportunities (please specify) [textbox for 250 characters]

 I’m not interested in serving as an alumni volunteer.



What would you like to see on a “Giving to Columbia” Web page?  


 Interactive feature that helps you find a mode of giving suited to you

 Ways to check your account online

 Online gift forms

 Slide show about how gifts help Columbia

 Interviews with/profiles of benefactors

 Guide to funds that need support

 Staff contacts across the University

 Volunteer opportunities

 Other (please specify):




Are you receiving sufficient communication from Columbia University regarding Alumni Relations?

 No, I would like more frequent or additional updates.

 Yes, I am getting a sufficient number of communications

 I am currently getting too much communication from Columbia University Alumni Relations



How often would you like to receive updates regarding alumni relations activities?







 Other (please specify)   




Please provide comments and any suggestions for how the Office of Alumni Relations may serve your interests in the future.

[textbox for 500 characters]






Thank you.


Your completed survey has been submitted. We value your opinions and appreciate your participation in this study.  Your responses will be combined with those of other alumni and used to direct our planning and programming activities, as well as future communications with you and your fellow Columbians.