No Good Deed
A friend and former colleague of mine used to say from time to time, “no good deed goes unpunished”. I was reminded of this yesterday when my office relayed to me a voice message left by an upset U of G grad, regarding an alumni directory that we are creating.
The idea for an alumni directory came from our last comprehensive alumni survey. In it, Guelph grads indicated a directory was the top service/benefit they wanted the University to produce.
We wanted to respond to this feedback and began moving this project forward.
We carried out a review and found that there is only one company in North America that provide such a service.
This company has worked with several other Canadian universities and virtually all of the major universities in the United States.
The fact that they are based in the US has caused some confusion, however, and a number of our alumni have called to question the legitimacy of the project. The fact that the initial contact and sale of the directory are being made by a company south of the border and not by their alma mater appears to be the main sticking point.
So, I think the University has to learn from this experience. In responding to the wishes of alumni we also have to think about how we communicate. We should have sent out more and clearer information in advance to explain the situation. My apologies to anyone that was concerned, worried or offended.
That said, I suppose that it is good to know that there are many Guelph graduates want to stay connected and don’t hesitate to keep in touch!
For more information about the directory, go to: http://www.alumni.uoguelph.ca/services/services_benefits_directory.shtml