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Cover of the Spring 2010 issue
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SPRING 2010

IN DEPTH: DEAN PAUL S. PEERCY

A message from the dean

Dean Paul S. Peercy. Photo by David Nevala.

Dean Paul S. Peercy view larger image

A fall 2009 survey of UW-Madison College of Engineering alumni revealed some valuable information about your communication preferences.

More than 1,500 alumni completed the September 2009 survey, which focused on communication, alumni engagement and philanthropy. One of the strongest messages to come through is that PERSPECTIVE remains valued as the primary vehicle for keeping alumni informed about the college. Of the general survey group, more than two-thirds of respondents labeled PERSPECTIVE as either “very important” or “important” to staying in touch with college news.

When asked for their preference for receiving information through print vs. electronic formats, the result was a virtual 50-50 split. This might seem surprising, given the explosive growth of online and social media platforms, but the enduring appreciation for print publications gave us a useful reality check.

It’s one of the reasons we are very excited about the printed version of PERSPECTIVE that we mailed in May. Redesigned from top to bottom, the new PERSPECTIVE magazine will provide more of the news and features alumni value in a modern and visually compelling format.

One significant change is that all future issues will have a lead cover story that represents a significant trend or issue in the college. This issue explores the growth in student opportunities to build skills in innovation, from hands-on competitions to academic certificates. We also are incorporating new voices into the magazine, beginning with a moving piece from student Eyleen Chou about the Engineers Without Borders student members’ experience in Haiti.

We also reorganized our core content to emphasize your highest priorities. Survey respondents gave either high or medium importance to research news
(91 percent) and educational quality and improvement (91 percent). Respondents also placed high value on news about economic impact and industry outreach (87 percent). The new PERSPECTIVE has sections dedicated to those topics.

With this change, we also recognize a much greater need for more avenues of online communication with alumni. Beginning this summer, we will debut a monthly online magazine that will highlight alumni success stories, upcoming events and a ‘news you can use’ feature on how to take advantage of college services.

Our challenge is balancing traditional and emerging communication platforms to reach the broadest possible audience of alumni and friends. We view it as a responsibility to inform alumni of the impact we are making in the world — one that builds on the prestige of your degree.

Please let us know what you think of the new issue, or other ideas about our communication efforts, by E-mailing perspective@engr.wisc.edu.

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