As of late I have been having second thoughts about the University of Toledo Alumni Association. This makes the third episode in my life in which I have had some major less-than-satisfactory experiences with the UT Alumni Association.
The first time was many, many years ago when I was a young man in my twenties. I had bought a large life insurance policy and designated the University of Toledo as a beneficiary of a certain percentage.
Apparently, that wasn't enough for them because the Alumni Association continuously and constantly was soliciting me to make financial donations, something that has continued to this very day.
The second occurrence was some years ago after I had served on the University of Toledo Alumni Association Arts and Sciences Affiliate Committee. I had spent a lot of volunteer time on the committee planning and implementing a wide variety of activities. Besides committee meetings, I provided a large amount of volunteer time for many activities. For example, I remember serving juice, coffee, and donuts under a reception tent on more than one occasion at commencement ceremonies for Arts and Sciences graduates and their families. After a couple years, there was a sudden cessation of the Arts and Science Affiliate committee. There was No advance notice from UT Alumni Association paid staff and no explanation. It just stopped meeting. After some time had passed, I made an inquiry or two. I was met with the response that I should lobby UT administration to reactivate the affiliate.
Now comes my third less-than-satisfactory experience. For the past five years, I have had a winter home in Mesa Arizona. One of my brothers and his family are full-time residents there. My sister-in-law is President of the Phoenix Chapter of the University of Toledo Alumni Association. She recruited me to be part of that chapter. The staff of UT Alumni Association actually organize and promote all the activities. They have not been stellar in my opinion, but so-so. So, enough of that --- let me cut to the chase.
Error after error after error has been made by the Alumni Association staff in the communications of the very latest activity. Rather than telling you about it, I will just copy and paste some e-mail communication (most of it by me) that has been exchanged on this. Read it and judge for yourself about the competency of the University of Toledo Alumni Association staff.
Date: Mon, 29 Oct 2007 15:23:16 -0700 (PDT)
From: "Roland Hansen"
Subject: UT Phoenix Alumni events
I am in receipt of your invitation to attend the UT Alumni Phoenix Chapter events being held November 13 (UT vs Ball State) and November 23 (UT vs BGSU) at the Teakwoods in Scottsdale.
I most certainly appreciate your invitation, but unfortunately I will be unable to attend either of these two events.
However, please keep me informed of future events.
Thank you very much.
p.s. Incidentally, the invitation mistakenly referred to November 23 as Thursday.
p.p.s. Give my regards to your husband (my brother, Garry) and the rest of the family.
From: "UT Alumni"
Subject: Phoenix Chapter Watch Parties on Nov. 13 & 23, 2007!
Date: Tue, 6 Nov 2007 20:00:12 -0500
Join your Phoenix Chapter for two watch parties at Teakwoods to cheer on your University of Toledo Rockets as they battle the Ball State Cardinal on Nov. 13.
Gather with your chapter again on Nov. 23 to cheer your Rockets on as they battle arch-rivals, the BGSU Falcons.
Come out and show your Rocket pride and don't forget to wear your Midnight blue and gold!
Join your fellow Phoenix chapter at Teakwoods located at 8880 East Via Linda #108 in Scottsdale, AZ 85258 (PH 460.614.5452)for two nights of Rocket fun!
UT vs. Ball State on Tuesday, Nov. 13 at 5:30 p.m. and UT vs. BGSU on Friday, Nov. 23 at 12:30!
For more information contact chapter leader Lorraine Hansen at email@example.com
From: Roland Hansen [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Tuesday, November 06, 2007 10:43 PM
To: UT Alumni Email
Cc: xxxxxxxxxxxx; UT President
Subject: Re: Phoenix Chapter Watch Parties on Nov. 13 & 23, 2007!
Dear whomever sent this originating e-mail to me:
Upon receiving an invitation to these events via U.S.P.S. over a week ago, I sent both you (i.e. utalumniemail) and Lorraine an e-mail on October 29 that I would not be able to attend these events.
Did you not get that e-mail? Or do you not pay attention to the e-mail that is sent to you? Or is this just an all automated system? Or what?
Please respond in order that I may understand what is happening. If it turns out that this is all automated with no person with whom one may communicate, I shall just block e-mail from you and report it as spam.
Date: Thu, 15 Nov 2007 08:38:56 -0500
From: "UT Alumni Email"
To: "Roland Hansen"
I do apologize for the incorrect email address. Lorraine recently changed e-mail addresses thus the mistake. I did not receive your e-mail as this is a bulk mailbox that you responded to used for bounce backs.
I do apologize.
Director of Alumni Programming
The University of Toledo
Date: Thu, 15 Nov 2007 13:21:51 -0800 (PST)
From: "Roland Hansen"
Subject: RE: Phoenix Chapter Watch Parties on Nov. 13 & 23, 2007!
To: "UT Alumni Email"
CC: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
To Ansley Abrams:
Thank you for your response. However, another error
has now been made.
My name is Roland as I have written; it is not Ronald
as you have replied.
In regards to Lorraine's e-mail address, the error was
not in her address change but in the domain name; you
stated it was us.heckel.com rather than us.henkel.com.
With these types of ongoing errors, I have lost all
confidence in the competency UT Alumni office.
As you can see, the specific staff person finally provided her name, but not her e-mail address. I found that on my own by searching the University of Toledo website. Oh, and by the way, look at this particular web page from the involved staff person.
Did you notice, that her previous experience was with CitiFest.
CitiFest experience, hmmmmm. I guess that should not surprise me.
(January 22, 2009 UPDATE: The original web page that was in the preceding link is no longer in existence. Gee, I cannot help but wonder why University of Toledo had it removed? At any rate it was a biographical sketch about Ansley Abrams, now Ansley Abrams-Frederick, that mentioned her previous position with CitiFest.)
Remember this about CitiFest?