Alumni Executive Council Business Meeting Minutes
June 12, 2016
President Forbes called the meeting to order at 8:07 am.
Mr. Chatterjee called the roll:
Members Present: Abernethy, Bantz, Chatterjee, Sears, Cowan, Dana, Danielson, Fagan, Faulkner, Forbes, Hallock, Halstead, Hansen, Jenkins, Kadick, Lee, Lloyd, McKee, McLaughlin, Murray, North, Peterson, Rood, Dennis Ryan, Sprague, Sullivan, Taylor, Terrillion, Thomson, Weaver
Student Delegates Present: Brouillette, Wheeler
Members Absent: Armstrong, Chrzanowki-Sears, Colucci, MacBrayne, Posener, Molly Ryan, Scuteri, Williams
Mr. Forbes declared a quorum was present for the conduct of business.
The minutes from the Winter Meeting in January were approved unanimously on a motion by Dennis Ryan and a second by Ms. Danni Weaver.
Ms. North gave the Treasurer’s Report, reporting a beginning cash balance of $66,895. 2016 revenue (bookstore stipend) was $30,000. There is $97,095 in available cash. In terms of expenses SS&R was $22,500, A&E $21,500, $8,000 for promotion and$5,450 for administrative expenses adding up to $57,450 in total expenses. There is $10,000 in reserve for an ending cash balance of $29,645.
Mr. Forbes thanked the Council for a productive retreat and pledged that he, the officers and the steering committee would continue to focus on moving the group forward.
Mr. Forbes talked briefly about the need for a new mission for Council and sought volunteers to serve on a working group that would, in coordination with Ms. Hissong, compose and deliver a new mission statement for Council for approval before or at the fall meeting in Canton. Mr. Forbes also talked about developing a process for building new goals and objectives for Council and said he expected that process to be shaped by the end of the summer.
Finally, Mr. Forbes talked about continuing to see through the Council's expansion and fundraising efforts for the Council's centennial gift, the Alumni Executive Council Endowment for Internships and Experiential Learning. Pledges now exceed $180,000 toward a $250,000 goal with a 2018 deadline. Mr. Forbes thanked the Class of 2016 and parents of the Class of 2016 for ably aiding the Council in raising money for the endowment.
The student delegates reported that study abroad programs are going well in terms of both the academic and social experience. There is continued interest in more nontraditional study abroad experiences. Students are also looking for more alumni connections and career services opportunities. The Laurentian In Residence program resulted in an internship for one student as an example of such connections and opportunity. Students also stressed their appreciation for and the value of Shadow a Saint and LINC program. The students feel they need to be more self-reflective and more involved in L4L week. There was a report of how some signs were defaced during the week to read Loans For Life. The students reported on a divest SLU effort to move away from investments in coal and fossil fuels. The effort garnered 1,400 signatures indicating strong sentiment.
There was some frustration expressed over the choosing of courses. Some seniors couldn’t pick required classes because they were behind sophomores in the queue. There was also some concern raised about the condition of the residence halls. The student delegates all said they would work to build more awareness of Council connections and on upping participation rates. There was a question about diversity of thought on campus and the students reported that they felt SLU was doing better and one student indicates that the Black Student Union had put on great events to highlight some of that diversity.
a. Finance & Resources
Sue North reported that the F&R committee reviewed each project/program funded in the 2016 budget. There were questions raised regarding the value of some programs in terms of AEC recognition/acknowledgment; alignment with the AEC mission; and the institutionalization of some programs. The main focus of the discussion was on branding and whether or not we were getting our bang for the buck. Are we funding projects that otherwise don’t have a home and should they be absorbed into the University budget. There was discussion of creating a form to submit budget requests that would require justifying the expense and explaining how AEC would be recognized for funding the particular activity. There was a proposed timeline for the budget with July 15th as the deadline for UA direction for AEC; September 15th as the date budget request forms would be due; October 7th would be the deadline for questions from F&R; the vote would occur on October 22nd and the budget would go into effect on 1/1/2017. The report concluded with the sense that we don’t know where we are going yet and are awaiting guidance from Advancement on the mission.
b. Advancement & Engagement
Stacy filled in for Chelsea and gave the following report on the committee’s meeting:
University Advancement Update
• Barb Knauf and Tom Pynchon provided University Advancement updates
o Annual Giving - up 40% YTD over FY2015
o We are 19 days (as of 6/11) from the end of the fiscal year; we need 1,708 more donors to reach a 30% participation rate (ultimate goal- get back to 40%)
o Recap of reunion 2016 – $26MM raised
o We are officially in “The Campaign for Every Laurentian”
· Every Laurentian. Every Year. Everyone Counts.
· The steering committee is in place, all other sub-committees are in the works
· Campaign Chairs: Mike Ranger ’80 and Sarah Johnson ‘83
· Nearly $60MM for commitments/intentions
· $26MM raised at Reunion 2016 is part of the $60MM
· Campaign will go public 2018 – with a goal announced Oct 2018
· Rule of thumb: have 60% “in the door” before publically announcing
· This will be the largest campaign in St. Lawrence history (Campaign St. Lawrence $132MM and Momentum $172MM)
• Tom defined University Advancement (UA) goals:
o Ignite the campaign – not just financial, but also volunteer involvement
o Unify the advancement team (40 current, 8 new positions - 7 of 8 to fill)
o Definite Laurentian engagement (Joe Keniston’s goals of VISTA- volunteers, investments, students, technology, affinities)
o Embrace the IDEA (innovation, direction/mission, efficiency, accountability)
• UA Vision
o Discussion around the current issues/problems and how can AEC/A&E help solved them?
o We, with the help of Tom and Barb, defined three problem areas in which the university is asking for help by the A&E committee through meaningful work
o Participation is a large concern
· We discussed a white paper done by Greg Chase researching other universities – item to revisit resending
· Why are people not giving? Cost of education
· Barb discussed a “tell your story” mailing that will be sent in the Fall/Spring sharing “what SLU means to me” to aid in the campaign under “Impact.” Paul Danielson will be the first AEC member to share his story in the Oct, glossy, edition.
o Volunteer Recruitment is a major focus that A&E can help
· AEC to identify volunteers and open the door for advancement and then introduce them. In some cases, the recruiting phase may be done by the AEC member if they have a strong relationship with the potential volunteer but in most cases the university will handle.
· Are we using the correct tools?
· Do we have the correct descriptions and scripts?
o Affinities will drive this campaign and the future
· Identify which affinities will move the university forward
· What are the core affinities that will bring people back?
· Who are the people and how do we get them back?
· Which affinities does each cluster think is most important?
· FYI all gridirons are online
• The A&E committee structure has been redefined with three subcommittees:
1. Volunteer Recruitment
· Development (i.e. Campaign)
· Engagement (i.e. L4L Week; Laurentian Networks)
• Assignments to sub-committees are as follows:
o Volunteer Recruitment – Paul D.
o Participation - Development - Mark T., Stacie F. Anna B, Brian A.
o Participation Engagement – Pris S.
o Affinities – Dennis R., Brendan M.
• Several action items were captured surrounding UA providing more information to the A&E committee (affinity groups already captured, class years in need of volunteers, volunteer roles, volunteer timeline)
o Tom has requested that the A&E Committee serve as a standing committee to the campaign - Laurentian Engagement & Participation Committee
o Council to solve the participation problem
o The Campaign Leadership requested that AEC be involved; the other committees are still being constructed (see additional attachment in email)
o We will meet while on campus for AEC weekends in additional to conference calls throughout the year
o A formal vote was taken at Sunday’s board meeting and passed
• UA to provide council with talking points around college debt
• Chelsea to request data from Jeremy Freeman on cost of education
• UA to share volunteer roles/schedule (i.e. role, time of year, prioritized)
• Tom to share master list of affinities – council, by cluster, to provide potential affinities back
• Chelsea to work with Brendan on A&E budget
Advancement and Engagement
Council has always been aligned with University efforts to engage alumni and grow alumni participation. These efforts, we believe, are not distinct and can be leveraged against each other to greater affect. Advancement & Engagement (A&E) reaches out to students before they leave campus (Convocation, L4L Week, Commencement) and continues through major milestones (Homecoming, Reunion). Energized Laurentians celebrate Laurentian for Life (L4L) spirit through regional events, and A&E connects with its vast network (Volunteer Recruitment) through multiple platforms, including the creative use of technology (Social Media). Aligning with the University's Strategic Map, we unite to support staff efforts, and to marshal Council’s resources to reach its primary audience, alumni, on multiple levels. A&E rolls together the portfolio of the former Development, Community Relations, Saints Network, and Reunion committees.
c. Membership & Honors
Lori Bantz discussed the term limits and cluster situation and focused on where our growth efforts need to be directed. We need to bring on 24 people. There was discussion of creating a spread sheet to track prospects. Ms. Bantz asked for suggestions for new members with an emphasis on geographic diversity. There was discussion of the leave of absence policy and re-entry and the proposed measures will be considered at the October meeting.
d. Student Service & Recruitment
Ms. Terrillion delivered the report. She began by mentioning that there is 22k in the budget. She asked that by looking at line items that we pay for but have no further involvement – are we truly adding value to these? Are there other programs that we could add more value to that would be a better time investment? She discussed new admissions activities and new career services initiatives. There was discussion on committee structure, should we become two committees? The conclusion was that while there is some overlap the committee recommends splitting – that will be placed in motion for a council vote at the end of the business meeting. In terms of career services, we’re looking to help the students as much as possible. Often “snow plow” parents, do all of the hard work for their kids (including filling out applications) so they do not experience the hard work required to get it done. They often don’t have to deal with disappointment, or need to be resilient, because their parents have done the hard work for them. The committee believes there is a strong need for more council involvement with both students AND Alums. Need more collaboration amongst the committees – especially where alumni engagement and student services intersect – like SLU Connect, etc. Will continue career panel at family weekend. Alumni greeters needed at off campusinterviews – more info to come early Sept when greeter schedules solidified. Regarding the New York Semester: the event has gotten expensive – go back to student-experience culture focused events vs. cocktail party at private club.
Also investigating branching out beyond NYC - SLU connect DC has been a big success and looking if we can we replicate in Albany or Boston.
Yield calls/notes were successful – 34 students accepted out of the 337 we called.
Total class is about 650 – on target, there are capacity constraints.
Should we reinstitute and play a role in accepted students events?
We used to have picnics for accepted students who may not have decided yet, these are typically high yield events
We also used to have sendoff events, but these are typically hosted by the parents committee
Mr. Forbes opened the floor to new business. There was a resolution for the creation of a new admissions committee, raised by Terrilion and seconded by Dana. There was a resolution that A&E serve as a standing committee with the campaign, raised by Weaver and seconded by Sullivan. The working group resolution was raised by Sprague and seconded by Sullivan.
President Forbes called for a motion to adjourn. The motion to adjourn was made by Ms. Terrillion and seconded by Ms. Hansen. The meeting was adjourned by Mr. Forbes at 9:16am.
As is our tradition, the alma mater was sung by the assembly