Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Educational Leadership

First Committee Member

Robert Ackerman

Number of Pages



Alumni relations programs exist to further the goals of institutions while meeting the interests of alumni (Webb, 1989). In healthy university environments, the relationship between the alumni and the institution is mutually beneficial (Webb, 1989). In an era of accountability, college and university administrators require evidence that programs are satisfying the missions and accomplishing the goals of the institution (Brant, 2002). Alumni relations professionals are challenged to find ways to include as measures of program effectiveness evaluations of the relationship building aspects of alumni programming; The purpose of this research was to explore how senior alumni administrative officers at four public research universities defined and measured effectiveness in alumni relations programs. This study specifically addressed questions regarding definitions of effectiveness, measurement methods used to determine effectiveness, how senior alumni administrative officers viewed their responsibilities, and identification of factors contributing to effectiveness in alumni relations. Exploration of these areas through observations, qualitative interviews, and document collection provided the researcher with valuable information that contributed to developing a preliminary analytical framework of effectiveness in alumni relations; While the interview participants had difficulty providing comprehensive and succinct definitions of effectiveness in alumni relations, they easily identified nine factors that contributed to effectiveness in alumni relations: building relationships with alumni, understanding reasons for alumni participation, knowing alumni constituency, facilitating communication with alumni, offering an array of alumni programs, creating pride/tradition/loyalty, instilling a sense of belonging, offering opportunities to impact the future of the university, and understanding institution specific missions and histories. The study's participants also identified numerous measurement methods for assessing effectiveness in alumni relations, which the researcher used to develop an assessment protocol. Finally, this study elicited conversations regarding the way in which senior alumni administrative officers viewed their responsibilities to both the host institution and alumni. While the alumni associations studied for this project were different in many respects, the participants viewed their responsibilities quite similarly overall.


Alumni; Alumni Relations; Effectiveness; Exploratory; Four; Relations; Research Universities; Study; Universities

Controlled Subject

Education, Higher; Marketing

File Format


File Size

4372.48 KB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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