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Megaphone Man

Alumni Feedback

You Spoke... We Listened!

“RPI is the place to be, if you really want to be challenged.” That and many similar sentiments were expressed by a diverse group of Rensselaer alumni who participated in recent focus groups.

The Institute’s Office of Communications conducted the research to “take the pulse” of alumni about Rensselaer’s image, its performance under The Rensselaer Plan, and its communications initiatives, including Rensselaer magazine.

Fourteen focus group sessions were held in seven U.S. cities, with a cross-section of Rensselaer graduates representing classes from the 1940s through 2002.

Alumni expressed their pride in being graduates of Rensselaer, saying that the curriculum was rigorous and tough. They also confirmed their passion for Rensselaer’s strength in undergraduate education; awareness of the Institute’s progress in university rankings; desire to read about Rensselaer in national news articles; receptivity to receiving more information about Rensselaer via e-mail; acknowledgement of Rensselaer’s growth and expansion — the “renaissance” at Rensselaer; interest in learning more about areas of affinity, such as “what’s new in my school or department;” willingness to become engaged with Rensselaer by volunteering to recruit the best and brightest students; desire to enhance the reputation of Rensselaer and add value to the RPI degree; and a preference for shorter, “newsier” articles in Rensselaer magazine.

“Their insights and opinions are providing excellent guidance to Rensselaer staff and faculty members throughout the Institute, and helping us to tailor our communications messages to alumni priorities,” says Jane Van Ryan, assistant vice president of communications. “We are seeking ways to be more responsive to alumni and hoping to strengthen their relationship with the Institute.”

According to Van Ryan, Rensselaer magazine was identified as the alumni’s primary source of information about the Institute. “We are taking steps to give alumni more of what they want — more news, more sports, and more opportunities to become engaged with Rensselaer,” she says.

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Rensselaer Magazine: Spring 2004
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Rensselaer (ISSN 0898-1442) is published in March, June, September, and December by the Office of Communications.

 
Opinions expressed in these pages do not necessarily reflect the views of the editors or the policies of the Institute.
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Jane Van Ryan, Assistant Vice President, Office of Communications.
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