Voices September/October 2023
Q: Our college has a volunteer alumni board with four committees and a chair—but some members aren’t very active and are on committees that don’t fit their skills. What’s the best way to bring in new members, fresh ideas, and rework our committees?
A: “You have a great opportunity to reinvigorate your board. Strategically selecting new members can go a long way in rebuilding a culture of engagement. You may find your committee structure and bylaws only need to be tweaked once you get the right people in the right seats.
“Proactively involve your board in a strategic planning process to map your future—that way, their voices are represented. We did this at Toledo a few years ago and had some great conversations about the direction we wanted to take. Rather than assigning people to committees based on their career experience, we allowed them to rank order the committees on which they wanted to serve. That allowed us to better align assignments with interest, which has led to consistent participation.”
– William Pierce, Associate Vice President of Alumni Engagement and Annual Giving, University of Toledo Foundation, Ohio, U.S.
Experiments in ChatGPT
ChatGPT and other generative artificial intelligence technologies have the potential to reshape work. And though advancement and higher education teams are grappling with questions about safety and ethics, for now the tools hold promise for productivity and ideas. In CASE’s Communications and Marketing Community online, members shared some of the initial ways they’ve used ChatGPT.
“I’ve been treating the available generative AI tools as tools and using them accordingly. They’re especially helpful for generating ideas; I often use them for help with ideas for headlines, email subject lines, or similar short-form items. Beyond this, we avoid inputting private information or conducting research. The public isn’t privy to how these tools are using private information.”– Andrew Husband, Senior Writer and Editor, MIT Sloan School of Management, Cambridge, Massachusetts, U.S.
“I write a blurb about what I need and then use what ChatGPT generates as a starting point. I never copy/paste/publish, but the amount of time I’m saving by using it to begin what I’m working on has incredibly improved my productivity.” – Eileen Vincett, Development Associate, Zurich International School, Switzerland
“Our team recently saved many hours of writing by using ChatGPT to turn degree descriptions from the course catalog and existing recruitment materials into brief descriptions for a new collection of about 90 rack cards, one for each degree or certificate we offer. Our recruiter and student ambassadors will use them at college fairs and high school visits. One staff member completed the text for all of them in just a few days because we ‘fed’ ChatGPT text that was already available and approved.”– Lynnette Harris, Editor and Publications Specialist, Utah State University, U.S.
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