Duke Alumni: FINAL Strategic Plan FY21-23

Page 1

Toward the most collaborative and engaged alumni network in the world STRATEGIC PLAN FY21-23


What’s Inside Our Mission, Vision, and Values


A Bold Vision


Priority #1


Priority #2


Priority #3


Measuring Our Success





Our Mission

Value our alumni, connect our alumni with the Duke community, and inspire our alumni to be engaged meaningfully in the life of Duke University.

Value our alumni by creating opportunities to continue to learn together and to share knowledge

Connect our alumni with each other and with our students to draw them deeply into the life of the university Inspire our alumni to imagine a better, more equitable, and inclusive world and to work with the university community to achieve it

Our Vision

To be the most collaborative and engaged alumni network in the world

Our Values

We affirm Duke University’s values.

Respect: We are a community of leaders, students, scholars, health care providers, and staff who affirm and encourage open expression, academic freedom, regard for others, and respect for laws and regulations.

Trust: We are honest, credible, and reliable in our words, behaviors, and actions.

Inclusion: We seek to welcome and fully engage people of diverse backgrounds, abilities, and perspectives to advance our work.

Discovery: We seek to be an innovative community, to improve our individual capabilities, and to share knowledge with one another.

Excellence: We perform high-quality education, research, patient care, and community enhancement, and are always mindful of the enduring value of safety and continuous improvement.

Putting these values into practice requires that we accept our responsibilities to one another—to think and act in ways that are ethical, inclusive, equitable, legal, and just, and that demonstrate courage, compassion, service, accountability, and commitment in all we do on behalf of Duke.


A Bold Vision: A Note from Our Leadership In 2024, Duke University will celebrate 100 years since the founding of the institution—a birthday ushering in a new, second century of innovation and engagement. In the words of President Vincent E. Price, now is the time to “develop a bold vision of our own” that steers new learning and leadership and that will help “define what Duke’s next hundred years will bring” for our diverse alumni population across the globe. Our new strategic plan builds on the successes of a five-year plan launched in 2015 and sets forth a framework for executing President Price’s ambitious vision for alumni engagement. OUR COMMITMENTS Our plan is built on six key commitments: • To know and understand our evolving and diverse alumni base; • To provide value inclusive of all of our constituents, including the Duke students who will become our future alumni; • To ensure programming and initiatives address diverse, inclusive topics and create a space where all alumni feel welcome; • To be “distinctly Duke” and to model among our higher education peers the possibilities of an innovative, global alumni engagement strategy; • To partner and collaborate with all schools, academic units, and programs to align our work with the strategic vision of the university; • To ensure a shared vision of alumni engagement by strategically and seamlessly aligning our work with University Development Are you ready? Let the journey begin. Forever Duke,

Sterly L. Wilder ’83 Associate Vice President, Alumni Affairs 4


Priority 1: Harness and deliver the richness of Duke’s intellectual content to engage and inspire our alumni in ongoing learning experiences With our first priority, we build on our tradition of Lifelong Learning programs by prioritizing them in new ways and collaborating with the University Provost and our schools and units to shape them. We want to ensure that all alumni have the opportunity to feel like a student again whenever they want, wherever they are in their life cycle.


Curate and create learning opportunities with university partners for all alumni at every age and stage of their lives

Bring the intellectual firepower of the Duke community to our alumni

Bring the intellectual firepower of our alumni to Duke

Lifelong Learning on Tour Inspired to expand Duke’s academic mission to alumni all around the world, President Vincent E. Price has taken Duke faculty on the road with him over the course of the last two years. His Best & Brightest series opened in a dozen cities and showcased how Duke research is changing the world.

3,705 Number of alumni attended


All-star faculty members 6

1 New Lifelong Learning YouTube channel showcasing the talks

12 Total cities visited

555 Volunteers part of the Presidential Outreach Team mobilized as event ambassadors

I truly believe the minute we stop learning, we stop living. When President Price prioritized “Lifelong Learning” as one of his strategic priorities, it gave me and others in the alumni community unique opportunities to engage with Duke’s amazing faculty. From attending the Best & Brightest series throughout the country to talkbacks with Professor Mark Anthony Neal and the cast of Broadway’s hit show “American Son,” participating in Lifelong Learning allows me to deepen my knowledge in areas of interest and opens new doors to learning. Given the rich research and expertise Duke has to offer, I am excited about the collisions that Lifelong Learning will spur—not only among faculty and Duke staff but also among members of our alumni community. These collisions expand Abele Quad, allowing it to be ubiquitous and accessible to our entire global alumni community. – Mychal Harrison ’01, President, DAA Board of Directors


Priority 2: Enrich the lives of students and alumni by galvanizing the collective talent and experience of the global Duke network As an alumni association, we aim to take part in the journey from the time our constituents apply to Duke until they graduate and beyond. In partnership with Student Affairs and other key departments, we want to leverage the entire Duke community for its full potential to connect alumni and students. This priority identifies what we can do to shape the student-to-alumni journey through strategic, focused initiatives that lead to measurable outcomes for networking, jobs, internships, and the exploration of life experiences.


Activate the Duke community to ensure that all alumni and students are given the opportunity to connect in the exploration of life experiences, including intellectual growth and professional pathways

Identify, integrate, and communicate opportunities for networking, jobs, and internships in collaboration with all schools, units, and programs

Establish and expand the “Forever Duke� experience so all students understand how the Duke global network works and take advantage of connecting with alumni.

Enriching the Lives of Students 425


Students received an internship or mentorship from a Duke alum during COVID-19 summer



Messages sent between students and alumni via our networking platforms such as the Alumni Network and Ask a Blue Devil New hashtag trending on Twitter: #DukeAlumniJobs


Supporting Students: The Beauty of a Network Samantha Lowe was hoping to spend her summer at the Smithsonian National Zoo in Washington, D.C. But when the rising sophomore learned that the internship would be canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic, she logged onto Ask a Blue Devil to ask for help. The Duke Alumni Association platform matches Duke students and alumni who need help with those who can provide advice, internships, and mentorships. Nearly 1,000 miles away, Terry-René Wiesner Brown M.E.M.’95, a natural-resources manager in a Florida parks and recreation department, replied. She offered Lowe an opportunity to work remotely with her over the summer. “I had just about given up hope on having a summer internship,” Lowe says. “When I got a response, I was thrilled.” Lowe says she’s felt a lot of energy working remotely on projects with Wiesner Brown, who is sheltering in Pasco County, Florida, on the state’s west coast. Lowe is putting her intended minor in environmental science and policy to work—developing a sustainability plan for the county and researching ways to make the environmental footprint of one of the county’s new parks low-impact. “I wasn’t expecting there to be any available remote internships related to my interests,” Lowe says. “But getting an opportunity from a fellow Blue Devil has made me feel very connected and supported by my Duke community.”



Did You Know? The Karsh Alumni and Visitors Center isn’t just a home for Duke alumni. It was also designed with students in mind—as a place for them to gather, study, and connect with alumni. To that end, DAA launched Karsh Conversations, a dinner series held at the center that brings together students and alumni for informal conversations. From CEOs and engineers to entrepreneurs and teachers, alumni from all backgrounds discuss their paths since Duke and share insights for the journey. 11

Priority 3: Provide unique, diverse, and relevant pathways for all alumni to engage with Duke As we progress toward our organizational mission of becoming the “most collaborative and engaged alumni network in the world,� we recognize that our current entry points to engagement need to become diverse, broadly relevant, and unique to the individual journey. We want our Duke alumni to take a journey with us, but we recognize that our current paths are only one small section of alumni engagement. To reach our goal, we will need to survey the current landscape and to create new and inclusive entry points. This priority emboldens us to think creatively about new entry points for engagement—experiential opportunities, volunteerism, communications, and philanthropy.


Know our diverse alumni population and how they want to engage in a way that matches their Duke passions

Refine, deepen, and expand alumni engagement through experiential opportunities that are inclusive and meet alumni where they are in their life cycle and where they live

Curate and deliver volunteer opportunities that meet the diverse and varying interests of the alumni body

Develop ways to use and to measure communications as an opportunity for engagement

Expand our work on measuring alumni engagement to demonstrate impact

Providing Relevant Pathways In the last year we have created new, more nimble ways to meet alumni right where they are, including:


Virtual events

Regional events

187 12



New identity-based affinity group representing 22,859 alumni

Online networking groups based on city, industry, and interests

My time at Duke gave me the opportunity to craft a meaningful experience that transformed my future. Guided by the principle of leading through service, I’ve volunteered in a number of capacities— as an Alumni Admissions Advisory Committee (AAAC) volunteer, as a co-chair of a regional board, and now, as the inaugural co-chair of our newest affinity group, the Duke Asian Alumni Alliance. These opportunities have allowed me to represent my fellow alumni, while also lending my voice to advocate for changes on campus that impact the futures of other alumni. I give back so that others can have the same transformative experience and to ensure that Duke continues to improve upon that experience. – Mathavi Strasburger B.S.E.’10, Co-Chair, Duke Asian Alumni Alliance


Measuring Our Success More and more, higher education institutions are recognizing the positive correlation among volunteerism, event attendance, communications, and giving. We want to invest in developing impactful and meaningful alumni engagement initiatives that are closely linked to and support institutional fundraising. There is also an emerging body of empirical evidence that confirms this linkage. A modern alumni relations program is not only about alumni programming. It also relies heavily upon and influences marketing, communications, new avenues of engagement, and perhaps most importantly, fundraising—from annual appeals to major gift cultivation. With this in mind, Duke Alumni will use the following six key performance indicators (KPI) to measure our success over the next three years:

1 2 3


In line with directives from President Vincent E. Price, we will evaluate and report out on organizational commitments to diversity and inclusion.

We will measure our success against industry metrics set by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE), including the number of alumni who participate each year and over three years in each category below. We will set goals based on current levels in the areas below, as well as target new growth: • Experiential • Volunteer • Philanthropic • Communications

We will apply the same CASE standards as above but measure against diverse segments of the overall alumni population (including but not limited to Black, Asian, Native American, LGBTQ, First Generation, Latino/Latina, and those identifying with the gender-neutral term Latinx).

4 5 6

We will apply the same CASE standards as measured against other identified segments of the overall alumni population, such as undergraduates, graduate students, professional school students, and young alumni.

We will look at the correlation between specific engagement acts (experiential, volunteerism, and communications) and giving. We will demonstrate the impact of engagement on giving.

In order to quantify the alumni experience, we will evaluate data via our Net Promoter Score (NPS), a management tool that can be used to gauge the loyalty of the constituent relationship.


STEERING COMMITTEE: Stephen Bayer, Jennifer Francis, Kimberly Hewitt, Katy Hollister, Mary Pat McMahon, Michael Schoenfeld, Timothy Walsh, Laura Meyer Wellman, Stelfanie Williams, and Hank Woods TASK FORCE: Lee Baker, Laura Brinn, Kristen Brown, Jen Cameron, Jenn Chambers, Chris Clarke, Susan Gordon, Scott Greenwood, Kathy Phillips, Mychal Harrison, Nicole Kempton, Nina King, Aimee Kwon, David Lindquist, Jacqueline Looney, Anne Lyford, Shep Moyle, Seun Bello Olamosu, Clarybel Peguero, Matthew Rascoff, Jim Ruth, Jeff Ward, and Sue Wasiolek, DUKE ALUMNI ASSOCIATION BOARD CONTRIBUTORS: Sanders Adu, Omar Aguilar, Erin Banks, Nelson Bellido, Danal Blessis, Valerie Thompson Broadie, Susan Nance Callaway, Kareem Cook, Jeanine DaSilva, Andrew Dillon, Preston Dodd, Ricardo Duque, Carol Ensinger, Larry Fobes, Roopa Mehendale Foley, Jeff Fox, Mychal Harrison, Felicia Hawthorne-Mahlios, Alice Blackmore Hicks, Aruna Inalsingh, Vijeth Iyengar, Daniel Karslake, Paul Kim, Nicholas Leonardy, Leslie Lewis, Reid Lewis, Luis Maes, Rachael Halstuk Mangoubi, Mark Anthony Neal, Drew Neisser, Allen Nelson, Alex Nichols, Alex Osmond, Gautham Pandiyan, Vikas Patel, Anna Gunnarsson Pfeiffer, Nicole Kresge Pilo, Luke Powery, Paul Quinlan, Sarah Arciszewski Rosen, Danielle Squires, Susan Matamoros Stalnecker, Joan Stanley, Mathavi Jothimurugesan Strasburger, Mark Vahradian, Tom Wanty, Mark Williams, Andrew Wolfe, and Amy Yeung


Louise Aguiar, Claudia Attarian, Shayla Battle, Robert Bliwise, Kristi Borgman, Victoria Bright, Jenn Chambers, Nathan Combs, Chela Cowan, Lisa Dilts, Jenna DeLine, Madeline Drewry, Sharon Elliott, Jess Emig, Lottie Gan, Erica Gavin, Susan Gordon, Scott Greenwood, Beverly Harris, Gerald Harris, Monique Harris, Delecia Hatcher, Corbie Hill, Courtney Hill, Christina Holder, Jeremy Houser, Scott Huler, Betty Irvin, Angela Karl, La’Shawnda Kendall, Carole LeVine, Katherine Li, David Lindquist, Tyler Lund-Hansen, Adrienne Martin, Louise Ward Meyer, Cherie Michaud, Julie Moushon, Natalie Nobles, Chris O’Neill, Clarybel Peguero, Beth Ray-Schroeder, Alyssa Samargya, Nicole Silvanic, Joseph Sorensen, Sara Stevens-Spradley, Jo Supernaw, Mary Taylor, Zayrne Thompson, Jennifer Torres, Mark Weinants, Lisa Weistart, Anika Young, and Liz Young WITH SPECIAL THANKS TO: Chris Marshall, founder and CEO of Chris Marshall Advancement Consulting; Christina Holder, senior director of marketing and communications; Liz Young, assistant director of communications, and Natalie Nobles, assistant director of design and creative strategy.