Alumni Voices

Alumni Voices is a CAA initiative that allows Columbia graduates to voice their opinions on a variety of alumni-related topics and programs. Previous topics include alumni benefits, the CAA Shop, entrepreneurship, and the arts at Columbia. Panelists complete brief surveys throughout the year, and the feedback helps shape alumni activities and opportunities across the University. The CAA shares survey results, as well as how opinions are used to make a difference. Continue visiting this page for the latest updates on results.

How and when are surveys sent? Surveys are sent via email. Panelists complete a profile survey when they join, and typically complete at least six surveys per year.

How are alumni recruited for the panel? All alumni are invited to participate, and certain Schools are targeted with additional communications to ensure coverage across all Columbia Schools. The CAA also ensures there is representation across graduation year, geography, gender, and other demographics.

How does the CAA share results? Results are provided in the following month’s survey e-mail, and posted on the CAA website.

How is feedback used? The CAA’s partners -- including Columbia Magazine, Columbia Libraries, Columbia Entrepreneurship, and specific Columbia Schools -- get great value from hearing alumni opinions on University initiatives. Panelists help shape strategic decisions on new programs.

Where can I send questions? CAA staff can be reached at

Check out some topics panelists have weighed in on over the years:

Year Four (Current): Visit this page throughout the year to learn about your fellow Columbians' opinions on initiatives, partnerships, and programming.

Year Three (2017-2018): 

  • A third of respondents shared they visited a Columbia campus within the past six months
  • Panelists want to learn more about data
  • 64% are most concerned about the ethical use of data (learning more about medicine and public policy/health-related data was close behind at 56% each)
  • 500+ alumni weighed in on neuroscience, and signed up for the Zuckerman Institute newsletter

Year Two (2016-2017): 

  • Two-third of panelists expressed interest in Columbia's Earth Institute and subscribed to its newsletter
  • 76% of respondents felt it's important to provide entrepreneurship programming at Columbia and 81% feel it's a viable career path 
  • The most valuable resource for panelists is off-campus access to e-resources; 40% of respondents said this is an extremely valuable benefit

Year One (2015-2016):

  • In its pilot year, Alumni Voices saw nearly 3,000 alumni, spanning eight decades and representing all Schools, share their opinions and shape CAA initiatives
  • Panelist feedback helped with the design of the new, online Columbia Alumni Community
  • Respondents volunteer with Columbia most by serving on a board/committee (33%) or interview prospective students (28%)
  • Panelists were most interested in volunteering in a "micro" way, like brief online activities, (61%), followed by serving on a committee or board (53%), or micro-mentoring (53%)
  • Participants shared the their opinions on top new grad resources: Faculty and staff (22%), networking opportunities (19%), and career services (19%) 
Infographic Showing Data from Year One of Alumni Voices

"Clear. Concise. Meaningful." -Arts & Sciences, College, and General Studies Alum

"Surveys were short and targeted. There was a sense the constructive feedback led to change. I enjoyed seeing the aggregated survey data." - Arts & Sciences,  Physicians and Surgeons Alum

"Great to provide the prospective input and see the ideas translate into tangible output!" -Barnard, Public Health Alum

"It is gratifying to know that the University values the opinions of its alumni." -Engineering Alum