Search the Bulletin

Alumni Council Proposes Changes to Member Selection Process

At its April 2008 meeting, the Alumni Council ratified a proposal to change the procedure for selecting new Council members. Currently, two new members are elected in each of seven geographic zones. The Nominating Committee of the Council selects four candidates to run for two positions in each zone, and alumni vote for two candidates.

Beginning in 2008–2009, the Nominating Committee will select one candidate for each position. That slate of candidates will be approved by the Alumni Council and then brought to the alumni body for ratification. As in the past, ballots will be distributed to alumni by e-mail and postal mail in the spring.

This proposed change has been under consideration for some time and was carefully thought through by the current Council leadership before formal presentation. The Nominating Committee formally evaluated and approved the proposal at their fall 2007 meeting, then brought it before the Alumni Council Executive Committee and ultimately the full Alumni Council at their spring meeting.

In its deliberation of the best way to select candidates to serve on the Alumni Council, the Nominating and Executive committees took many factors under consideration. They discussed the level of alumni participation in our elections, which in 2008–2009 was less than 10 percent. They considered the impact of the election on those alumni who are not elected. Those candidates asked to run for Alumni Council have strong ties to the College, which is why they are chosen. Serving on Alumni Council requires a serious commitment of time and energy, and asking people to consider making that commitment and then not using them was seen as hindering the College’s efforts to build strong relationships with our alumni. In addition, as the Nominating Committee develops a set of candidates each year, they pay close attention to building a diverse group, considering such factors as geography (within regions), class year, types of previous volunteer experience, ethnicity, and career experience. The set of elected candidates as a whole does not always have that breadth, even though the individual candidates are each very strong. Another factor considered was the way in which other schools choose their Council members. At the request of the Executive Committee prior to the spring meeting, Lisa Lee ’81, the director of alumni relations, compiled a survey of a group of small liberal arts colleges. She discovered that at each of those colleges new members are chosen and ratified by their current Council; none are elected.

The College will continue to build its pool of potential candidates by soliciting nominations and self-nominations and by examining the ranks of its alumni volunteers. Names will also be solicited each year on the Alumni Council ballot, as has been the practice in prior years. The Council encourages all alumni to recommend people they believe would be strong Council members and invites comment regarding the new procedure.

Please send comments and recommendations to

—Lisa Lee ’81
Director of Alumni Relations

Comments are closed.