Alumni Board Votes To Amend Constitution

September 7, 2018

Dear Fellow Alumni,

Capping more than 3 years of discussion, the alumni board of directors voted 20-5 (80%) to amend the Constitution and Bylaws of the Alumni Association at its annual Reunions meeting on June 8. These changes set the stage for a more streamlined structure to help the board focus on its mission, align activities to be consistent with the growing alumni community, and strengthen support to be more nimble for the expanding local Chapters. Below you’ll find a summary of the proposal; on the following pages, you’ll find the text of the amendments. If you are interested in more information either about new volunteer activities that are available through the Board’s committees or about the amendments, please click here.

I want to extend heartfelt thanks to all of the members of the Alumni Board who have put in countless hours over the last 3 years toward the development of these amendments—in particular, the members of the working committee who drafted the constitutional changes to be consistent with the proposals. It is truly a privilege and honor to serve alongside such a diverse and inspiring group.

I look forward to the opportunity to see the volunteer community grow. If you are interested in participating in any of our current Alumni Board supported committees (Diversity and Inclusion, Young Alumni, Reed Career Alliance), please contact us at!

Respectfully Yours,

Lisa Saldana ’94

Alumni Board President

Proposed Changes in a Nutshell

In June 2018, the Alumni Board and its Executive Committee approved a proposal regarding the structure of the Alumni Board and its alignment with the college. The goal of the proposal was to increase alignment while providing additional support to the Chapters to fit their specific needs. The Executive Committee surveyed and consulted with the Alumni Board, including Chapter representatives, to gather ideas and feedback into proposed changes to the work of the Alumni Board and its structure.

Goals for the changes include the following:

Adopt a structure that requires the Alumni Board to nominate and select their own membership, including a nomination process and renewable term limits;

  Assign all Alumni Board members to committees or similar working groups, which annually set goals and determine projects that are directed in consultation with the Executive Committee and in alignment with College priorities;

Support the project-based work of the Alumni Board committee structure;

Provide Chapters organizational independence, including the ability to set their own structure, priorities, and goals supported by the College.

The proposed changes will affect the following areas of the Alumni Board organization: Alumni Board membership, the Chapter Steering Organization, Alumni Board committee structure, voting, and nominations.

Alumni Board Membership

In order to recruit the right volunteers for the strategic needs of the Alumni Board and to be flexible as the needs change, it is important for every single board member to have gone through the vetting process and to have term limits. Having term limits also allows engagement of more alumni volunteers on the Alumni Board, as board members roll off after serving their terms.

The nominations process involves the Nominations Committee, which is chaired by the Past President of the board and made up of individuals who are recruited to serve on the committee for that year. This committee is supported by a staff member from the Office of Alumni Programs.

Each year, a call for nominations is made to fill upcoming vacancies for at-large members and for Executive Committee members. Currently, Chapter leaders do not go through the vetting process, nor do they have term limits.

The following changes are proposed:

All board members have term limits.

All board members are either selected through the nominations process or appointed by the president (the presidential nominations often come from the list of nominees that were interviewed by the nominations committee and evaluated as being a good fit for the current needs of the board).

There will be up to three dedicated seats reserved for Chapter representatives on the Alumni Board. These seats must be filled by nominations provided by the Chapter Steering Organization. If there are no nominations, the seats will remain vacant.

The three Chapter members on the board will serve as all other Alumni Board members and participate in operating committees.

The slated Chapter members will serve one-year terms, renewable up to 3 years similar to the total term of at-large directors.

Chapter volunteers are welcome and encouraged to be nominated or self-nominate to serve as an at-large member or as part of the Executive Committee.

The Chapter Steering Organization

The Alumni Board will not decide for the Chapters how the independent organization of the Chapters should run. Decisions regarding membership or governance of the Chapter Steering Organization are beyond the authority of the Alumni Board. We would like to encourage Chapter leadership to organize their own structure that will support the advanced alumni engagement work that they have been successfully executing for years. This will allow the Chapters to create their own structure, membership, name, and terms, including the process for nominating Chapter representation to the Alumni Board.

The Chapter Steering Organization will dictate the terms and support for Chapters, including establishing new Chapters, decommissioning inactive Chapters, support for regional activities outside of recognized Chapters, and all Chapter-related programming and decisions. College support can be matched to meet the evolving demands of Chapters.

The College is committed to supporting the new independent Chapter organization with the same level of support as the Alumni Board and the AFR Steering Committee. This includes staff support and travel stipends.

Committee Structure

Annual goals will be established by the Executive Committee, in coordination with the college, and with input from the Alumni Board. The annual goals will be tentatively laid out prior to the September meeting by the Executive Committee. The focus of the September meeting will be to align the committee structure and articulate the projects and tasks that the committee will undertake throughout the year to reach the Alumni Board goals. That is, the aim will be to have common overarching goals to help move forward a shared vision of the Alumni Board activities. Each committee will outline its individualized committee goals and define how their progress will be measured.

Alumni who are not members of the Board of Directors may participate in the work of any committee as an “ad hoc” member of the committee. Ad hoc members shall have no right to vote on committee matters or matters of the Board of Directors. The President, with the consent of the Executive Committee and in consultation with members of the affected committee, may remove an ad hoc member for any reason.


Technology will be used to facilitate remote communication and voting. “In attendance” will include appearing in person, by telephone, or videoconference. All votes shall be cast personally and not by proxy. A quorum of the Board of Directors must be in attendance throughout the casting of votes. A majority vote shall signify consent.


Currently the constitution notes: “As soon as possible after November 15, notice of the nominees, including a brief biographical sketch of each, and procedure for proposing alternate nominees, will be printed in a college publication sent to all alumni.” To assist in meeting print deadlines but allowing for maximum visibility of the nominations slate each year, Reed Magazine and other print material sent to all alumni will provide a link to the online profiles of nominees as well as a written description of the nominations process. In addition, electronic communication sent to the general alumni community will be used for more immediate notification of the slate when available.

The proposed amendments can be found here.

Tags: Institutional, Alumni