Sometimes an event has many planners and organizers. This is true in the case of this year’s graduation luncheon for a graduate program. Each year for the past three years, a graduate school at a small regional university held an event for its winter graduates. There is a luncheon on campus to recognize the graduates, give them a chance to assemble, and present them with a small gift as they continue their lives beyond the university. However, because of an unclear organizational chart, this led to miscommunications and dropped balls in managing this event. When the structure of the planning group is unclear or unknown, as it was in this case, important details such as the nomination of a graduation speaker can be missed.
You are the event representative for the university and need to make sure the university employees responsible for various functions of the event work closely with the event coordinator that was hired. This is to ensure that the event comes together in a timely basis and meets all the various stakeholders’ requirements. The people below have expressed their feelings and thoughts on this issue. Review them carefully before doing the activity.
Raymond Burke ( University Student Services Representative ) : Raymond Burke is the University Student Services representative and has been assigned by the university to ensure that the event coordinator hired completes the job on time and to the agreed specification and that all the stakeholders, including the students will have a memorable experience.
Jane Teller (Student Representative ) : The new graduates that will attend the luncheon have assigned Jane Teller, one of the new graduates, as their representative to ensure that all goes well for the students during the graduate luncheon
David Smith (Event Coordinator ) : David Smith is the event coordinator and was given the job of coordinating the graduate luncheon. Since Dave had coordinated the luncheon for the past two years, he felt comfortable with not starting on the job seriously until several weeks before the scheduled event. As he started to finalize the content for this year, David quickly realized that not only were people in the other departments working on different aspects of the luncheon, but also that no one was taking care of the actual luncheon programming. The previous luncheon had included a speaker from the student body and a faculty member presenting the graduation gifts. This year, however, David learned that a student speaker had not yet been nominated. Quickly compiling and mounting an email campaign, he was still receiving nominations less than two weeks before the luncheon. Issues of which faculty members would be involved in the event also arose, and David’s job grew to include the task of deciding and scheduling the elements of the program. Because of the unclear organizational chart for this event, this led to miscommunication and gaps in responsibility. When the structure of a planned group is unclear or unknown, as it was in this case, important details such as the nomination of the graduation speaker can be missed.
Based on the information above, write a short report to address the following issues:
- How can the university clearly identify who is in charge of planning the luncheon when it arranges for next year’s event
- What type of efficient organizational chart would you recommend for such events in an academic environment?
- What other techniques would be helpful to save, track, and retrieve in the event history?
- How would you create a checklist for the various elements of the event?
In your response be sure to incorporate what you perceive to be the goals of your organization and how they would impact your decision.