DISTANCE LEARNING COULD PROVIDE AN IMPORTANT AS A WAY OF MAINTAINING TIES WITH BROWN GRADUATES.
I agree. However, I disagree with the minutes of the Alumni meeting regarding charging for these activities. The largest benefit would seem to be, as discussed above, in the form of providing public lectures to alumni. The marginal cost per lecture is small and the marginal cost per distance learner is essentially zero. I therefore have difficulty imagining that the marginal return in terms of higher contributions (which is admittedly hard to measure) will not exceed marginal cost. We should register participants but not charge, at least initially. It would then might be useful to alumni affairs to link participation with giving (although privacy issues may be relevant here) so future assessments of the costs and benefits of charging may be based on solid empirical evidence. I have participated in a public lecture from Princeton, where I am an alumnus, and feel it was quite successful. The relevant web pageat Princeton seems to subcontract this to Knowledgecast