As the governing body of the UMass Amherst Alumni Association, the Board of Directors is comprised of alumni whose demonstrated service and leadership display a strong understanding and commitment to the mission of the Alumni Association and advancement of the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
The Board of Directors consists of 33 voting members including:
- Fifteen (15) directors elected by the Alumni Association’s eligible membership
- Fifteen (15) directors appointed by the President
- Two (2) enrolled students who serve one-year presidential appointments, one of whom shall be a member of the Student Alumni Association
- The immediate past president who serves a two-year term, concurrent with the President’s term
Elected and appointed directors serve three-year terms beginning each July.
The Vice Chancellor of Development and Alumni Relations and Assistant Vice Chancellor for Alumni Relations both serve as ex officio, non-voting members of the Board of Directors. In addition, one (1) alumni representative from the University of Massachusetts Amherst Foundation and one (1) alumni representative from the University of Massachusetts Amherst staff or faculty bodies each serve as an ex officio, non-voting member of the Board of Directors.
The Officers of the Board include the following:
- President Elect
- Vice President – Volunteer Development
- Vice President – Governance
Board and Committee Meetings
Three full Board meetings are conducted during the year: the first in the fall during Homecoming Weekend; the second in February; and the third in the spring to coincide with Alumni Weekend and the Alumni Association's Annual Assembly. Board meetings typically convene on the Amherst campus, but may sometimes convene in other locations within Massachusetts.
Newly elected and appointed Directors also attend New Director Orientation, which is usually scheduled on the Friday preceding the spring Board meeting.
The Executive Committee meets 6 – 8 times per year, and other Board Committees meet 4 – 8 times per year as needed. Executive and other Board Committees typically convene via conference call, but may at times meet in person on campus or in central locations within Massachusetts.
The work and recommendations of various board committees and task forces is integral in supporting implementation of the Alumni Association’s strategic plan and related goals. Board committees concentrate on issues of strategic importance to the growth and stability of the Alumni Association, and fall within one of three primary categories: governance, strategic initiative or task force.
All board committees are chaired by members of the Executive Committee and include Directors as well as alumni who have an interest or expertise in a committee’s specific area of focus. All Directors serve on at least one committee.
The primary responsibilities for each committee are outlined below:
Identified as standing committees within the Association’s bylaws, governance committees are charged with oversight of the Association’s fiduciary and compliance responsibilities.
- Work in partnership with the Executive Director to coordinate and monitor development and implementation of the Association’s strategic plan and related goals
- Provide regular strategic plan progress updates to the full Board of Directors; formulate recommendations for revisions to current or implementation of new initiatives for Board consideration and action
- Foster purposeful discussion and efforts to incorporate culture of diversity across all programs, communications, and recruitment initiatives; monitor ongoing compliance with diversity and inclusion policy and evaluate success of associated initiatives
- Oversee regular review and revision as appropriate of the organization’s strategic plan, bylaws, standing rules, governance documents, policies and procedures
- Assist President in developing and facilitating Board meeting agendas
- Oversee selection, retention, evaluation and termination of the Association’s independent auditor
- Coordinate preparation, certification and disclosure of audited financial statements and tax returns
- Maintain internal control systems, including critical accounting policies and procedures, information system controls and security, and document retention and destruction policies
- Monitor risk and liability assessment and management procedures
- Ensure compliance with legal and regulatory requirements
- Examine governance, ethics and whistle-blowing issues as appropriate
- Oversee impartial review and selection of director, officer and executive committee member-at-large nominees
- Identify and coordinate opportunities to strengthen Board leadership and succession planning
- Develop recommendations for presidential and committee appointments and other volunteer opportunities
- Recommend standing rule revisions as appropriate to foster diverse Board Representation and ensure objectivity and transparency in nominations and elections process
- Determine and regularly review a compensation philosophy and associated structure for the organization; update as necessary to reflect operational changes or legal requirements
- Determine and regularly review the organization’s bonus program and available incentive pool
- Collaborate with campus leadership to negotiate and approve the chief executive’s contract
- Conduct an annual review of the chief executive’s performance in light of organizational goals and specific performance criteria as determined by the Board
- Make recommendations to the full board and campus leadership on the chief executive’s compensation level, bonus or other incentives, and adjustment process
Finance & Investment
- Develop and manage fiscal and investment policies and operating procedures to ensure the organization’s short and long term financial stability
- Regularly monitor investment portfolio performance, and coordinate selection and ongoing evaluation of the investment management consultant
- Oversee administration, collection and disbursement of all financial resources and monitor related accounting transactions
- Ensure timely and accurate preparation of meaningful management reports and financial statements
- Prepare and monitor annual operating budget and revenue-generating initiatives to identify and address potential cash-flow or other financial challenges
Strategic Initiative Committees
Strategic initiative committees are charged with oversight of long-term or ongoing strategic and programmatic initiatives, and may be restructured as determined by the Board of Directors when assigned goals are achieved or when new or expanded goals are identified.
- Oversee impartial review and selection of a diverse panel of alumni and student award recipients
- Involve personal, professional and volunteer networks to identify possible nominees for Board elections, Board or committee appointments, scholarship and award recipients, or student and alumni program speakers
- Personally engage with possible nominees to gauge interest in Board service
- Utilize university resources and other channels to research and assess possible nominees
- Develop and forward a diverse nominee pool and recommended volunteer opportunities to Board Development Committee, Awards Committee and staff liaisons.
- Recruit, cultivate, nominate and steward a diverse group of qualified and committed student and alumni leaders and volunteers
- Identify, recommend and monitor success of volunteer training tools, resources and recognition programs
- Develop and evaluate metrics for volunteer satisfaction, engagement and participation
- Develop and share best practices to strengthen volunteer leadership and succession planning
- Recruit director nominees to other volunteer opportunities post nominations and elections process
- Educate and engage volunteer leaders in efforts to advance UMass Amherst and increase constituent participation through programs, philanthropy and volunteer service
Task forces may be authorized by the Board of Directors or Executive Committee, and are charged with oversight of one specific initiative with a clearly defined time horizon.
- Evaluate current process for director nominations and elections to identify real or perceived barriers related to alumni, volunteer and campus partner participation
- Develop recommendations to broaden diversity of nominee pool and strengthen qualification of nominees in consideration of current Board composition and critical expertise needs
- Develop recommendations to promote and foster inclusion through purposeful selection of a Board of Directors representative of the UMass Amherst community
- Evaluate and recommend opportunities to strengthen Board leadership and participation
- Evaluate current AA initiatives, campus priorities, consultant recommendations and industry best practices relative to alumni engagement strategies
- Draft a five-year strategic plan proposal to increase constituent engagement and participation throughout the student to alumni to donor life cycle