Board of Director frequently asked questions
The board serves as an independent group of enthusiastic supporters of UAF, as former students and graduates. Board members are advocates and ambassadors, encouraging support for UAF, involvement in the alumni association and to help connect, support and highlight UAF alumni. The board sets the strategic vision and approves sustainable budgets and priorities of the UAFAA, a 501c3 nonprofit. It has fiduciary responsibility of the organization, which seeks to be aligned with UAF and relevant to its alumni.
All current dues-paying members of the UAF Alumni Association have the opportunity to vote in board elections. To be a dues-paying member of UAFAA, one must be a graduate of any associate, bachelor’s, master’s or PhD program, or must have successfully completed at least 9 credits at UAF (this allows matriculates or transfer students to be members of the alumni association).
The board meets as a full board three times a year; once in the spring, again in the fall and once during the winter. The spring and fall meetings are two day, face-to-face person meetings in Fairbanks. The winter meeting is traditionally a one-day teleconference. The board has several standing committees and ad-hoc that meet periodically or regularly, depending on the committee. All board members are expected to serve on at least two committees.
Very. Attendance and participation at the three annual board meetings is mandatory, as well as full and active participation on committees. Absences at board meetings must be excused in advance by the president; absences at committee meetings must be excused by the committee chair. The organization understands emergencies and unavoidable conflicts come up from time to time, but a trend of nonparticipation can lead to a board member’s removal. The board meets once in the fall and once in spring in person; a winter meeting is usually by teleconference.
No. As a board member, your presence at various UAF events is an asset, however, there are too many events happening at UAF every day for board members to be expected to attend even a fraction of them and of course, attendance for board members who don’t live in Fairbanks or where the event is being held is not possible.
If possible, attendance at certain key signature events is desirable, i.e., awards banquets, the Chancellor’s Gala, important sporting events (NCAA championships in which UAF is host, for example) high profile lectures or community celebrations (e.g., Centennial, Golden Days or Tanana Valley State Fair). Events that are specifically sponsored by UAFAA, including the annual alumni awards and reunion event known as Nanook Rendezvous, Grad Bash, the commencement reception, Wine Tasting, etc. also are important for board members to participate in if they are able.
Board members must be graduates of UAF (either an associate’s, bachelor’s, masters or doctoral graduate) and be members in good standing of the UAFAA. There is an expectation that board members are advocates and supporters of UAF, which can include being philanthropic donors to UAF and the alumni association above and beyond membership (e.g., Benefactor Fund).
The policies and procedures of the UAFAA allow for board member travel for required meetings and events, including airfare and hotel, to be paid for, as well as per diem paid. Travel should be arranged by the UAFAA office vs. individual reimbursement. This allows benefits to accrue through the UAFAA’s Alaska Airlines EazyBiz account. As a nonprofit largely funded through member dues and donations, we look to board members to be thrifty stewards of that revenue. If a board member can financially afford to pay for their own travel as an in-kind donation, stay with a friend or family member to reduce costs, or forgo per diem, this is welcomed and encouraged.
The UAFAA was founded on Nov. 16, 1927. It is a community of alumni and friends who love UAF and work together to advance the mission of the university. Learning, the arts, culture, athletics--whatever you love about UAF, membership in the alumni association keeps you connected. Since inception, the UAFAA has played a vital role in supporting the university. By joining the UAFAA, you help UAF fulfill its critical mission of teaching, research and public service.
Membership dues make the following possible:
- Student scholarships
- Grants to improve campus life through our Benefactor Program
- Sponsorship of UAF and student events
- Nanook Rendezvous annual reunion
- Alumni events in Alaska and the Lower 48
- Alumni Achievement and Distinguished Alumni Awards
- Alumnus newsletter
- Volunteer advocacy
“The University of Alaska Fairbanks Alumni Association connects and supports UAF and its alumni. We encourage excellence in all aspects of the University and provide opportunities for alumni to engage in lifelong involvement with their University community.”
The board is an important stakeholder in UAF alumni relations and its opinion and insight on a variety of issues is important. That said, UAFAA staff members are UAF employees, and are directly hired and overseen by UAF. A Memorandum of Agreement approved in September 2015 outlines the relationship between the UAFAA and UAF, including personnel. The MOA provides for significant board input into the executive director--including hiring, firing and annual review. It also allows the nonprofit to hire consultants or additional employees.
The annual operating account for the nonprofit is approximately $30,000. This does not include personnel salaries and benefits, office space, supplies or other overhead, which is subsidized by UAF. UAF also maintains a small alumni relations budget. The alumni relations staff currently includes a director (who also serves as executive director to the UAFAA), membership & event coordinator, and student assistant. UAF’s Alumni Relations office is integrated with the Development (fundraising) office. It is called the Office of Development & Alumni Relations, and works collaboratively with the university as a whole on numerous events, issues, and priorities.
UAFAA sponsors, co-sponsors or collaborates with UAF on numerous events; approximately 16-20 specific events annually. UAFAA supports six different student scholarships; the annual alumni awards and reunion event; the publication of the semi-annual Alumnus newsletter (printed copies are mailed to members only; a digital copy every other month is sent to all UAF alumni); UAF Impact, the volunteer legislative advocacy fly-in to Juneau; Grad Bash; an annual reception at commencement; tailgates or receptions related to UAF athletics; chapter events in various communities; and fundraising, specifically the UAFAA’s Benefactor Program.
UAF has approximately 30,000 living alumni. Of these, approximately 10 percent are members of the UAFAA. Growing this membership is a strategic priority of the Board of Directors.
There are currently three chapters/ networks; the Fairbanks, Southcentral and Hockey chapters. Networks or chapters are under way for alumni in Washington DC, Seattle, Houston and San Francisco. In addition, affinity chapters for the firefighting program, women’s volleyball and others are being pursued. It is relatively easy to form a chapter; increasing chapters is a strategic priority of the UAFAA Board.