Wow. Criticize Alumni Relations and expect to get burned. First was a mean-spirited, over-the-top response from the director of Alumni Relations regarding Mr. Field’s evaluation of the graduation party in May. This letter certainly took strides in the building of relationships with future and current alumni- particularly in the JMC department.
Then someone with very close ties to Alumni Relations but not currently employed in that office (much wiser and slightly more sly than the director responding) chastises and pokes fun at criticisms of ACU for making you pay upon arrival at a birthday party.
Perhaps we shouldn’t expect ACU to foot the bill for fun when invited to attend a party, yet, Celebrate Abilene advertised admission fees. What a joy for ACU’s neighbors, who were invited, to arrive only to be unable to enjoy the fun because of unexpected fees. It is also noteworthy, as an earlier letter stated, that ACU did advertise prices for other events not only that day, but throughout the year of the Centennial Celebration and all other events on campus: ballgames, plays, admission to special events. Besides, why shouldn’t we expect ACU to foot the bill for a carnival? It’s been done numerous times before and your 100th birthday only comes once.
A former boss taught me about “rhino-skin”. Rhino-skin is what you need to be in a position where everyone is not going to appreciate your work. I was leading Chapel, a rhino-skin job. He also reminded me of lessons learned in kindergarten: respect others’ opinions and think before responding in anger. This advice has already been given, but yet to be heeded on any side of the arguments.
In short, if you’re going to be in charge, find more constructive ways to handle criticism than demeaning others. After all, they attended your events, unlike many critics, and their feedback should be as valuable as those who praised your work. The office of Alumni Relations, should serve as ambassadors for ACU- these letters were disappointing in reaching this goal.
Thanks for a great year celebrating the Centennial. Your work on these events is appreciated and they were enjoyed by many students, faculty, staff, alumni and neighbors.
Former director of Alumni Relations