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Otago Business School Alumnews

New Otago Development & Alumni Relations Director

Philip KearneyPhilip Kearney (BCom, Marketing & Management 1983; MBA Massey) wasn’t looking to leave the New Zealand Charities Commission last year but when his boss, Trevor Garrett – an Otago Phys Ed alumnus and recently added to the Phys Ed Hall of Fame – showed him the job description for Otago’s Development & Alumni Relations Director he thought he would put his toe in the water.

Now that he’s in the role, Philip sees enormous potential to engage with and develop opportunities for the 85,000-plus alumni scattered through New Zealand and around the world.

Philip led the education team at the Commission, which invested time in both regulating and helping the 26,000 registered charities nationwide. While there was some initial suspicion about how a Government body could actually assist the charities it was regulating, Philip says the feedback received after three years was highly complimentary.

He comes into the Director’s seat with a ringing endorsement from Vice-Chancellor Professor Harlene Hayne, who says: "Philip’s ability to forge strong relationships across a wide variety of organisations will place him well for this role, which is pivotal to our future development and the relations with the communities we serve."

So how does Philip see what is expected of him?

"It is one primarily of engagement and to help develop opportunities with and for our alumni," he says.

Philip is very keen to establish opportunities where alumni can continue to learn throughout their careers and into retirement, seeing no reason why the expertise available at Otago should not be utilised throughout a graduate’s life.

"We also need the support of those who have benefitted by studying here. There has to be a pathway through which alumni can add value - that’s not always about financial support but in acting as strong and positive advocates that will help attract future students, and in opening doors for our research and development."

In building on the "excellent work already done in development and alumni relations" Philip notes "I’m here to do a good job and develop a strong platform for engagement with Alumni."

The number of post-it notes on his white board, each listing a contact point, concept or current scenario to assess would suggest he has thrown himself into the fray with the enthusiasm required to bring about that outcome.

For further information contact Philip


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