This case is about the transformation of the Alumni Association of the University of Michigan (AAUM), one of the major organizations in its field. It begins with the CEO, Steve Grafton, pondering whether the all-inclusive project was totally successful. AAUM’s transformation began in early 2015, when the organization was doing very well by then-current standards, yet the world was rapidly changing from a digital and social standpoint. The case summarily proceeds through specifics of the transformation on into 2021, including the period in which U.S. racial and social divides were sharpened by the death of George Floyd. The primary dilemma for students to address: Is the organization now fully relevant and is the transformation complete?
The case—which is entirely factual, based on original research—applies to the needs and success opportunities of a great range of organizations, nonprofit and for-profit, because it presents dilemmas about relevant organizational transformation.