What Establishing Alumni X-Teams Can Achieve

communication bubbles
Member Exclusive

by Joe McGonegal, Director of Alumni Education, MIT

We need to reshape a 19th-century alumni office to meet the demands of a 21st-century audience.

"Alumni associations were rendered obsolete by Facebook and have since been dying a slow death."

"Why get off my couch on a weeknight to connect with fellow alumni from college, one of a dozen institutions to which I have some faint sense of allegiance?

"Given the amount of virtual networking to be done, why connect IRL (in real life) at all?"

The answer to these loaded questions is the reason my job in alumni relations still exists. We still crave a live networking event, seminar, or raucous public debate. Alumni associations, for hundreds of years the conveners of such events, aren’t going anywhere.

But I don’t rest easy, nor should my peers in alumni associations the world round, even those of us at the most elite institutions of higher learning. To meet these demands, we must form “x-teams” – cross-functional teams from various verticals in an organization who share a common goal.

X-teams in advancement shops must be students of the marketplace, audience, and the whimsical trends among students, alumni, faculty, and the public. Taking a page from the best tech companies out there, I now look for colleagues who share an x-team mentality – for collaborating on tests that can nimbly sink or scale within a quarter’s time.

We hope you’re enjoying this read. The full text of this article or report is complimentary for Academic Impressions members. to read it!

If you're signed up to receive our Daily Pulse, but your institution does not have an active membership, you won't have access to this article.


An Academic Impressions membership provides multiple users on your campus with unlimited access to exclusive reports, research briefs, hundreds of free webcasts and online trainings, and discounts on conferences. Learn more about membership and get unlimited training and reading for you and your team today.