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Record growth with half the staff

The WSU Alumni Association has been the fastest growing alumni association in the Pac-10 athletic conference during the past year, said Jud Preece, association marketing director. The WSUAA growth rate also exceeds the rates of WSU’s 22 peer institutions — defined as U.S. public land-grant universities with veterinary schools but not medical schools.

At a time when many of the nation’s largest universities are reporting a decline in membership, the WSUAA is bucking the trend. The WSUAA:

• Grew by 4,500 members last year, the largest single year increase in the history of WSU.

• Saw 12 percent annual membership growth vs. 2 percent average annual membership growth among Pac-10 schools and peers. (Life memberships grew by 28 percent during the same period).

• Grew when the average for the nation’s largest public universities saw a decline of 2 percent in alumni association membership.

“This achievement is truly remarkable when you compare the staff and budget sizes of WSU Alumni Relations with other Pac-10 universities and WSU’s peer institutions,” Preece said. “WSU’s alumni association is producing these results with half the budget and staff, on average, than its peers.”

Statistics for 2005-06 show:

• WSUAA staffing levels are 46 percent of our peer average and 54 percent of the national average. 

• WSUAA staffing consists of 12 full-time-equivalent positions, or FTE, with a “total living” alumni-to-staff ratio of 12,074:1.

• Pac-10 staffing averages (non-publications) 28.6 FTE for alumni association. (To put that in perspective, the average student enrollment among the other Pac-10 schools is 32,000 students)

• Peer universities’ average staff size is 25.7 FTE, with an alumni-to-staff ratio of 10,317:1.

• The national staffing average is 22 FTE, as reported by the Council of Alumni Association Executives (CAAE), with an alumni-to-staff ratio of 8,870:1. (For perspective, the average student enrollment at CAAE institutions is 31,113)

• WSUAA’s operating budget is 53 percent below its peer average and 70 percent below the CAAE average.

• WSU Alumni Relations’ budget for fiscal year 2005-06 was $1.3 million.

• The Pac-10 operating budget average is $4.9 million.

• Peer institutions have an average budget of $3.09 million.

• The CAAE national average budget is $4.7 million.

The Alumni Relations team has set a goal of adding another 3,000 new members by the end of the fiscal year, Preece said.

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