A Letter from the Alumni Association Board of Directors

October 23, 2009
By Cherry Crayton

The NC State Alumni Association Board of Directors has released this letter following a change in leadership at the organization:

Dear NC State Alumni,

The decision of Chancellor James Woodward to end the employment of NC State Alumni Association Executive Director Dr. Lennie Barton is being received with a great deal of sadness by many NC State alumni. Dr. Barton faithfully, ably and enthusiastically served our Alumni Association and NC State for more than 30 years, and we are deeply grateful for his leadership. The officers and board of directors of the NC State Alumni Association recognize that Chancellor Woodward, in reaching this decision to end the employment of Dr. Barton, heard and considered many points of view, and that his decision was made with a great deal of thought and careful deliberation. We respect the chancellor’s authority to make decisions regarding the employment of his senior staff members, such as Dr. Barton.

Some of you may be concerned about the state of the NC State Alumni Association in light of these developments. You should be assured that no one, including the Chancellor Woodward, has suggested or expressed any concern whatsoever of malfeasance, dishonesty or inappropriate allocation of funds or member pledges. Contrary to what may have been inferred from press accounts on this matter, there is simply no evidence that would support such inferences. Rather, Chancellor Woodward has said that his primary concerns relate to some of the long-term strategic plans of the Alumni Association and some of the assumptions used in developing those plans. As part of our association’s response to these recent events, the officers and board are carefully considering the views of the chancellor on these points. We intend to keep the membership of the Alumni Association informed of our findings and welcome your input.

The Alumni Association, in response to recent nationwide economic turmoil, took a number of appropriate measures, including staff reductions and budget cuts, to ensure that our core functions would remain on task and vibrant. Those of you who have had the opportunity to attend recent alumni functions, interact with a Caldwell Fellows student, visit the Dorothy and Roy Park Alumni Center, or read our nationally recognized magazine will have seen this firsthand. We have initiated a lifetime membership program and increased our focus on young alumni memberships. Our membership has dramatically increased in the past six years, and our strategic plan calls for reaching the 30,000 mark in 2013. Our operations are staffed by an exceptional group of innovative, energetic and dedicated employees.

The officers and board of directors are committed to moving forward in our mission to enhance the lifelong connection between students, alumni, friends and NC State University and to promote the growth, progress and general welfare of the university. We will be working in close collaboration with the chancellor, the university and you, our fellow alumni, to continue to achieve this mission.

Sincerely,
The Alumni Association Board of Directors

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One Response to “A Letter from the Alumni Association Board of Directors”

  1. Lisa Jeffries says:

    I do agree that technology has not been utilized in an appropriate manner. I have received at least 6 (or more) mailings since my membership lapsed last month (all being the same, all requiring costs of printing, all requiring costs of postage, and all leaving a carbon footprint on the postal mail delivery process), but not one single email reminding me to renew (with a link to doing so).

    I also think the association would significantly benefit by offering a monetary or tangible benefit to a multiple year membership. Why % would I pay for multiple years at once without receiving a discount for doing so? I can instead invest that $40 in my free checking account from Capital Bank and receive 4.01% interest. Can’t offer a discount? How about a tangible benefit of multiple year memberships such as a nice t-shirt (not a cheap t-shirt), but one that would reflect a $20 gift. Now, I know we don’t all need another t-shirt, but another gift of this sort that is actually valued (and not meant for the junk bin), would be a great way to encourage people to purchase their membership for more than one year at a time.

    Perhaps looking to some of the better promotions done to spur retail sales would be helpful in promoting additional or longer memberships to the Alumni Association.

    And I’ve said it before, and I’ll continue to say it, if I could pay my State Club, Wolfpack Club, and Alumni Association dues all at one time, once a year, it would make life a lot easier! I imagine it would also encourage those who are joining other university-affiliated groups to join the other groups at the same time. I realize each organization operates independently, but it would not be impossible to coordinate a joint membership sales opportunity within the overall NCSU family.

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