As it turns out, the “gathering of the data” to assess whether the alumni of the “research universities” are more or less integrated in their respective alumni communities wasn’t exactly a “walk in the park.” Thanks to the many hours of hard work coding data by our Swedish exchange student/intern, Emil, I can report the survey results…
As it turns out, there is not a statistically significant difference with respect to overall BCI score: graduates of research-focused universities are equally integrated into their alumni communities as are their peers from the more teaching-focused universities/colleges. The alumni of the Carnegie Doctoral/Research Universities do report, however, higher integration scores with respect to how they feel about the institutional brand and their fellow students (peers).
Hmm….perhaps a little bit of digging into the individual survey items might offer some insight into these different scores. I might hypothesize that the greater visibility of the research universities in the media might increase alumni affinity for the “institutional identity” compared to the attitudes of graduates of the more teaching-oriented institutions. The peer score is less easy to understand. Perhaps there are other correlated issues that influence the higher “peer affinity” scores, like Division I athletics and tailgate parties? What are your thoughts, Dear Reader?
James McAlexander, Ph.D.
Dean’s Professor of Excellence
College of Business
Oregon State University