2015 PHELAP Conference Heads to Tennessee

Few are more apt to authentically speak about an institution’s value than an alumnus. Alumni advocacy has a long and storied role in building and maintaining the pillars of many US public higher education institutions. The role of alumni advocacy has never been more vital than it is today.

Beginning in 2008, public higher education budgets became a ready target as lawmakers sought to shore up their budget crises during the Great Recession. It was during this time that a small group of advocacy professionals across the US began recognizing the need to mobilize the alumni voice in order to protect the future of our universities.

2014 PHELAP Conference attendees stop for a photo outside of the University of Texas Tower on the Austin campus.

2014 PHELAP Conference attendees stop for a photo outside of the University of Texas Tower on the Austin campus.

Historically, alums have expressed their gratitude for their alma maters in the form of time, money and loyalty. Now pockets of alums across the country can be found developing relationships with their lawmakers and advocating for increased public support through legislative advocacy and educational outreach.

Many of the professionals responsible for tapping this well of alumni support belong to the association of Public Higher Education Legislative Advocacy Professionals (PHELAP). Born as a volunteer organization dedicated to determining the best practices for advocacy in the public higher education setting, this group meets annually to share resources, network, and help lead the advancement of the profession at a time when the alumni voice has never been more powerful.

Participating PHELAP institutions like Michigan State University and the University of Florida have joined UW Impact in harnessing the alumni voice to halt or undo damage done by years of declining public support. PHELAP is critical to ensuring its member organizations are best prepared for success in this complicated, political and ever-changing landscape.

This year, the University of Tennessee will host the PHELAP Conference over three days in Nashville. UW Impact will join representatives from institutions and alumni associations spanning the nation for three-days of in-depth advocacy training, networking and education. On the heels of last year’s successful University of Texas conference in Austin, the UW Impact team is anxious to see what Tennessee will have in store.

PHELAP is always looking to engage colleagues interested in this type of advocacy work. Please click here to check out the PHELAP Conference details.


2015 PHELAP Conference

July 29-31, 2015

University of Tennessee

Hosted in Nashville, TN