Although most students generally leave campus upon completing their degrees, some graduates return to serve at their institution.
Almost one-fourth of William Jewell College’s 374 employees are alumni and of the alumni, over half work as staff. The hiring process for staff is very similar to that of hiring a new faculty member with the preparation of a job description, interviews and mandatory approval from a select cabinet and the president of the college.
“Requests for faculty positions are typically advertised on national forums, whereas staff openings are aimed at a more regional audience. This has led to higher local representation within staff members and has included many former Jewell students,” Provost Dr. Anne Dema said.
The Office of Admissions, along with the Athletics Department, the Harriman-Jewell Series and the Office of Advancement, employs the highest percentage of alumni as staff at the College.
These departments have cited the accessibility to the college website, the awareness of local employment opportunities, the time commitment for certain positions and the general proximity to the Kansas City area as some of the strongest reasons for attracting a sizable amount of alumni.
The Athletics Department has the fourth-largest percentage of employed alumni. At roughly 32 percent, it employs the most Jewell graduates of any department, with 18 of its 56 employees being alumni. Along with having the most graduates, the department is also known for hosting the two eldest alumni employed at the College, each from the class of 1967.
Apart from the head coach positions, many of the department’s jobs are part-time. The natures of these particular jobs are an appealing feature to alumni as well as an advantage for the department. By working elsewhere in the community, employees are able to establish and develop connections with high schools and businesses for the benefit of the college.
“A big part of coaching is recruiting, so to have someone who knows a lot about the institution’s academics and athletics from experience can be helpful,” Dr. Darlene Bailey, director of athletics, said.
Networking Jewell to a broader community is essential to the success of each department, especially for the fundraising efforts of the Harriman-Jewell Series and the Office of Advancement.
“With development and fundraising, it helps to know the community that you’re working with, but non-alumni can have that knowledge just as easily,” Clark Morris, vice president of advancement and executive director of the Harriman-Jewell Series said. “We have great members that know the philanthropic community of Kansas City, but when we hire alumni, it is because they are the best candidates.”
The Harriman-Jewell Series and the Office of Advancement have the highest percentages of employed alumni, with approximately 67 percent and 46 percent, respectively.
The Admissions Office primarily offers full-time positions as well. It employs close to 33 percent of alumni overall, but of its nine admissions counselors, two-thirds are graduates.
“They definitely have a unique context for providing information to prospective students,” Cory Scheer, dean of admissions, said. “Their experience as former students adds a positive dynamic and creates compelling discussion.”
While the benefit of being a Jewell alumnus is seen in connecting with future students, it is not a set criterion. Scheer emphasized that even non-Jewell graduates are able to use adequately their experience as former college students to be just as relatable as alumni.
This article is the first installment of the Hilltop Monitor’s alumni feature series. A staff or faculty alumnus/alumna will be highlighted for their contributions to William Jewell College when they attended the institution as students and now act as employees. All statistics reported in this issue were compiled from information given by the College’s Office of Alumni Relations.