The Role of Institutional Advancement in Seventh-Day Adventist Colleges in North America
Bartlett, Lynley Raymond
Carbone, Robert F.
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This study describes the structure of institutional advancement operating within Seventh-day Adventist colleges in North America. During the 1980s, Adventist higher education has confronted declining enrollments, spiralling financial costs, and a waning of constituency support. Together these aspects are currently raising serious questions about the continued economic viability of maintaining all twelve denominational colleges and universities within North America. On close examination it becomes apparent that many of the dilemmas facing Adventist higher education are shared by numerous small liberal arts colleges. For these institutions the threat of impending closure has been averted by the implementation of institutional advancement procedures. By the assertive employment of alumni contact, fund raising, public relations, and government relations, many colleges have found renewed mission and purpose. It is also proposed tha·t Adventist colleges can experience revitalization by the greater use of institutional advancement procedures. The study includes data collected on the existing structure of institutional advancement at the twelve denominational colleges. A questionnaire was completed by the chief advancement officer in each college. In addition, a telephone interview provided qualitative information from the president, chief advancement officer, directors of alumni and public relations in five selected Adventist colleges. This study provides the first description of the structure of institutional advancement within Adventist higher education. It permits Adventist educators and others to draw on new information in the field of advancement. In addition, it enables analysis and comparison between Adventist colleges and other small liberal arts colleges. Permission to undertake this study was granted by the Seventh-day Adventist Board of Higher Education. Care was taken to guarantee the anonymity of all persons interviewed.