student semester reviews, faculty pulled the best of student
work to make record slides. This practice is extremely important
as the slides can be used for teaching aids, recruitment,
lectures at other institutions or presentations in the community.
We used the slides to keep administrators abreast of what
was happening in the program or as credentials in soliciting
funding for community or research projects. The slides were
important in curricula planning as the faculty could lay out
slides representing work for the entire year on a large light
table. We could see where we needed to put more emphasis,
inject new course content or change sequence. Student work
records are an invaluable asset for any program. It is also
good to keep an updated file on faculty work.
Design Alumni Records
the Minneapolis School of Art and the Kansas City Art Institute,
I kept alumni records and lost track of only three students
over a twenty-year period. We started to keep alumni records
at Arizona State University but my tenure there was too short
to be effective. My experience has been that alumni records
are of immense value to the ongoing program. Alumni proved
to be the most effective means for placing students after
graduation. Alumni were scattered over the entire country
and with a phone call, you could obtain information regarding
hiring in that area. Graduates working for firms that were
hiring would call me to say there were jobs available. Every
two years we published the list of alumni and mailed it out
to them. Most would stay in contact with the program because
they wanted each new listing. Graduates who wanted to work
in a particular location would look in the alumni listing
to find if any previous graduate was working there. If so,
they could call them, make inquiry, or contact them when they
arrived to look for work. Often it was a place to sleep even
though a davenport while they were interviewing. As many students
had found their first job through this avenue, they were always
willing to help a new graduate.
time, alumni were working in a variety of design capacities
throughout the country, and frequently we brought them back
to the school to talk with students. Alumni have credibility
with current students that makes these visits worthwhile.
passed out alumni forms to each Senior prior to graduation.
The key question on the form was to list a phone number for
parents or relative that would always know where they were
though every institution has an alumni office, it is best
done within the program. It is important that any records
done within the department are passed on to the institutional
alumni office. They are always pleased with the assistance
and are cooperative when you need something from their office.
I usually had a work grant student each year who kept the
records updated. The importance of keeping student work and
alumni records cannot be overstated.
Arizona State University, during 1989, we published a newsletter
in conjunction with the alumni program. The newsletter was
not only an added incentive for alumni to stay in contact,
but it was also an excellent promotional tool both within
and outside the university. We mailed copies to art departments
at high schools and community colleges. We used it for recruitment
and promotional purposes. On a larger scale, I think it would
be excellent if all Graphic Design programs published a newsletter
once a year describing and illustrating the program as a means
for better knowing what is going on at all the different institutions
around the country.
Work or Design History Slide Records
always had a number of slides which usually were kept in trays.
There were student work, faculty, pedagogical and design or
typographic history slides. Either I used them or other faculty
members borrowed them to use in their classes. Inevitably,
at the end of each term, I had a pile of slides all mixed
together in a box, and it would take days to sort and put
them back into order.
finally devised a cataloging system whereby I could take home
the box of mixed-up slides, and pay my eight-year old daughter,
Shaun, two dollars to separate and put them away.
notebooks were used for categories such as Student Records,
Faculty Work, Design History, Type History, Community Projects
and so on. Each book had an alphabetical designation. Each
page was numbered. The windows were numbered vertically one
to twenty. Corresponding numbers were written on each slide.
E-10-15 would be the E book, tenth page and the bottom window
on the third column from the left. If it became necessary
to add a page between ten and eleven, I would mark it 10-A.
This system worked extremely well for me.