Derek Symer ’90, chair of the committee, opened the meeting and asked all of the committee members to introduce themselves. 

The committee members reviewed the committee’s mission statement, which was revised last year. It was mentioned that, in addition to supporting Alumni Council communications, perhaps the committee could consider assisting with other alumni communications (for example, the webmasters’ and newsletter editors’ communications). 

Lynne Gaudet ’81 shared the Alumni Council communications metrics with the committee; there are 97 councilors with defined constituencies. A summary of the spring meeting was prepared by committee members Debbie Atuk ’04Tu and Sarah Jackson-Han ’88. It was emailed to all councilors. Fifty-five councilors sent out meeting reports following the spring meeting; 97 had sent them out following last fall’s meeting. There seems to be a dropoff in the spring due to turnover of third-year councilors, so that is an area to improve upon. Of those 55 spring reports, 42 (76 percent) used the meeting summary prepared by the committee in some way. The committee and the Alumni Council leadership focused on trying to improve pre-meeting communications this fall. Last spring, 18 councilors sent out pre-meeting emails. This fall, there was significant improvement, with 62 councilors sending out pre-meeting emails to their constituents.

Symer informed the committee that Steve Geanacopoulos ’74 will compose the Alumni Council meeting summary for the 203rd meeting. 

Vice President for Communications Roddy Young made a presentation to the committee and asked for feedback on the College website and for their impressions of the Dartmouth Aires media campaign. The following comments were made:

  • It would be good to consider allowing public comments on various articles on the website.
  • More coverage of alumni achievements and profiles would enhance website content and engage more readers.
  • Young mentioned that he would like to integrate coverage of alumni between Dartmouth Alumni Magazine, the Public Affairs office, and the Alumni Relations office. There was a brief discussion regarding the utility of the alumni magazine among younger classes.

A conversation pertaining to ways to maximize the communications committee effectiveness followed. It was suggested that:

  • The Alumni Council automatically send out a standard meeting summary if a councilor had not communicated within several weeks following the council meeting (Note: The council president sends out the Communications Committee meeting summary to those undergrad classes and grad school alumni who have not received a communication within this timeframe);
  • The Alumni Liaison Committee mechanism for responding to councilor inquiries should be streamlined in some way;
  • The Communications Committee should utilize its Wiki site to communicate between meetings; and
  •  The Communications Committee should consider helping to support the communications of classes, clubs, and webmasters in particular.