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Principles of Practice for Alumni Relations Professionals at Educational Institutions

Revisions adopted by the CASE Board of Trustees in July 2014

As a critical discipline within advancement, alumni relations professionals collaborate with their colleagues  in development , communications  and advancement  services to maximize resource decisions regarding alumni engagement. Alumni relations professionals lead strategic decisions and then perform  roles serving their institutions and alumni including: championing the institution's mission, encouraging and fostering alumni involvement with their institutions, building long-term relationships with alumni and other constituencies, and engaging with the research agenda.  Critical collaboration includes partnerships with admissions, career services, athletics and student affairs.

The principles below are intended to assist alumni relations professionals in fulfilling their role in a manner that will benefit their institution, its alumni and the profession of alumni relations.

Ethical Principles

Alumni relations professionals have a fundamental obligation to:

  • Advance the mission of their institutions and serve and support its alumni in an ethical and socially responsible manner.
  • Reflect in their work the basic values of educational institutions, including an abiding respect for diverse ideas, interests and constituencies.
  • Place the welfare of the institution and its alumni above personal gain, avoid conflicts of interest and take responsibility for their decisions.
  • Treat colleagues, alumni and the public with honesty, integrity, trust and respect.

Operational Principles

Alumni relations professionals are most successful at advancing and serving their institutions when:

  • Their efforts support the interaction between the institution's strategic plan and the interests of alumni.
  • They provide strategic counsel to their institution's leadership, convey the viewpoints and interests of the alumni, and participate in the formulation of strategic initiatives and institutional policies.
  • They base their work on best practice that informs their understanding of the institution's alumni and measures progress toward established goals in support of the institution and its alumni.

Engagement Principles

Alumni relations professionals best serve the needs and interests of the alumni and ensure the involvement of alumni with the institution when they:


  • Promote and embrace alumni as vital stakeholders in their institutions.
  • Advocate for alumni, representing their interests in working with institutional departments and constituencies as well as the broader community.
  • Communicate in a transparent and timely manner.
  • Ensure personal information provided by alumni is handled in a professional and confidential manner at all times.
  • Recognize alumni contributions of service, leadership, advocacy and philanthropy.


  • Inform alumni about institutional mission, vision and goals.
  • Educate students about their future responsibilities and opportunities as alumni.
  • Ensure the mission and goals of alumni programs are consistent with and support the mission and goals of the institution.


  • Encourage alumni to support their alma mater through service, leadership, advocacy and philanthropy.
  • Involve alumni to serve the broader community as ambassadors for their alma mater and education in general.
  • Actively engage alumni in the planning and designing of alumni programs, services and events.
  • Involve students with alumni programs, services and events.
  • Challenge alumni to pursue volunteer and leadership opportunities throughout the institution, including individual schools, admissions, career sevivces, athletics and student affairs.
  • Involve alumni—seeking their ideas, input and feedback.
  • Recruit alumni to leverage their networks on behalf of the institution.

These principles are intended to supplement and complement the CASE Statement of Ethics adopted by the CASE Board of Trustees in 1982.

These principles are intended to supplement and complement the CASE Statement of Ethics adopted by the CASE Board of Trustees in 1982.