Deep dive: a closer look at the alumni survey
UW Impact, the UWAA’s legislative advocacy program, sent out a survey to UWAA members asking about the issues that mattered most to them. Below, UWAA Executive Director Paul Rucker shares what we learned.
What issues are most important to alumni who responded?
We’ve always known that our alums care deeply about the UW and this was thoroughly demonstrated by the 2,500+ respondents who immediately completed the survey in September. The biggest takeaway was that a large majority want the state to prioritize investment in public higher education. Eighty-three (83) percent of respondents want the Legislature to restore university funding to pre-recession levels.
The state is facing huge challenges when it comes to funding K-12 and other state services. Our constituents acknowledge that challenge—but they are united in the belief that the state should fulfill its commitment to the continuum of public education, from early learning to the university level.
We also learned that 78 percent of alumni want to continue to expand access to higher education for Washington residents; furthermore, 68 percent listed reducing tuition as a high priority.
What do alumni think the UW’s top educational priorities should be?
Throughout the survey, alumni told us that educational excellence matters to them. They placed UW’s high rankings and academic excellence as the number one and two qualities they are most proud of, and they told us that “delivering a high quality educational experience” should be UW’s top goal.
This is how much our alumni care about excellence—74 percent said that in the absence of more state funding, maintaining quality should be a top priority even if it means raising tuition. Alumni want the state to prioritize reducing tuition, but not at the expense of the funding required to deliver a quality UW education.
Alumni expect and take pride in educational excellence at the UW, and they want to keep seeing that.
Clearly, alumni care about higher education. What else did you learn about their civic involvement?
Bottom line: our alumni are active participants in their communities—they are an incredibly engaged, politically diverse group of citizens. Eighty-seven (87) percent are frequent voters, while 56 percent regularly volunteer or serve in community leadership positions.
Given this, it makes sense that alumni are so committed to ensuring this world-class education will still be available for future generations. These people care about the world around them and take action to make it better, whether it’s by voting, volunteering or being a member of UWAA.
Finally, how do alumni feel about the UW?
Our alumni are proud Huskies! Eighty-nine (89) percent had a great student experience that has only strengthened since graduation – 91 percent report that they feel positive about the UW today. It’s our job at the UWAA to make sure their passion and commitment is recognized and appreciated.