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By: Ashley Budd

Ashley Budd on Why the Future of Higher Ed Looks More Like Its Past

This art major turned higher education pro talks about her love for education, why the future of marketing looks more like the past, and the best advice her dad ever gave her.

By: Ashley Budd

2 minutes

Ashley Budd is a digital strategist, web and graphic designer, communicator, fundraiser, and self-described media addict. She has been working in higher education digital strategy and web design since 2007 and currently serves as director of digital marketing for alumni affairs and development at Cornell University. Through speaking, writing, and research, Budd regularly shares insights into contemporary challenges in enrollment, fundraising, and communication technology. When she’s not working, you can find her spending time with her family in her hometown of Saratoga Springs, New York.

I wanted to work in higher education because…

I graduated with a BFA in fine arts and did not want to be a starving artist.

My favorite memory from undergrad is…

Flooding a laundry room my freshman year for an installation. Because art.

In the next five years, I’d like to…

Be closing in on the largest grassroots capital campaign higher education has ever seen.

Cornell was founded to teach all people, not just the elite. And, its founding purpose was to spread knowledge and to make lives better for people around the world. The world needs knowledge and betterment. We’re built for this.

I start my day at…

7:00 a.m. I have breakfast with my daughter, get dressed, and start the long commute to my home office downstairs.

The biggest challenge facing higher education marketers is…

Keeping up with all the stories that can be told. We live in a storytelling gold mine and there are never enough miners.

My biggest professional achievement is…

Becoming Cornell’s go-to project manager for digital advancement initiatives.

The future of higher education will be…

More like its founding. I work for a land-grant university in the Ivy League. Some call Cornell the first American university because it broke from the European traditions of earlier schools. Cornell was founded to teach all people, not just the elite. And, its founding purpose was to spread knowledge and to make lives better for people around the world. The world needs knowledge and betterment. We’re built for this.

When someone tells me they want to work in higher ed, I tell them…

I have yet to find a cause I believe in more than education.

A key to my success has been…

Going for it. My dad always encouraged me to go after what I want, not because it was a challenge but because I deserve it.

The biggest threat to higher ed is…

Funding.

One thing I’ve learned about managing teams is…

Transparency is everything. I might be an over-sharer, but I do this to avoid knowledge gaps within my own team and working groups.

The hardest part of my job is…

Deciding what to say “no” to. Working with technology today means anything is possible if you have the resources. It’s easy to take on more than you can sustain.

I love my job because…

I get to play with shiny things. New projects come to my team because we can flex our bandwidth and expertise for months at a time.

Ashley Budd

Ashley Budd

Director of Digital Marketing for Alumni Affairs and Development

Ashley Budd is a digital strategist and designer based in Saratoga Springs, New York. She loves working with schools and nonprofits. You’ll find her speaking, writing, and sharing her projects in a weekly newsletter.

 

Ashley is the director of digital marketing for alumni affairs and development at Cornell University. Prior to joining the digital team at Cornell, she spent more than five years at her alma mater, Rochester Institute of Technology. She serves as producer and host on the Higher Ed Live network. Connect with Ashley at ashleybudd.com.

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Eteannette Seymour

What a great article! I love that quote about Cornell. This is the kinda person I could get to KNOW!

A graphic featuring a stack of papers and a question mark

Your Alumni Magazine Looks Terrific. Is It Working?

Given the recent advances in marketing technology, it’s time for colleges and universities to move away from generalized alumni communications and toward a more personalized approach.

Donor & Alumni Relations /
By: Robert Mattaliano
A graphic featuring a stack of papers and a question mark

Your Alumni Magazine Looks Terrific. Is It Working?

Given the recent advances in marketing technology, it’s time for colleges and universities to move away from generalized alumni communications and toward a more personalized approach.

Donor & Alumni Relations /
By: Robert Mattaliano