A letter on the vote from Joshua R. Newton, President & CEO of the UConn Foundation
This week is a pivotal time for UConn. Members of the UConn Alumni Association (UCAA) are voting by ballot on whether to approve the dissolution of the UCAA in order to help facilitate the transfer of alumni engagement efforts to the UConn Foundation. (The deadline the ballot to be received is Monday June 29th).
The University Board of Trustees, the Foundation Board of Directors and the UCAA Board of Directors have already endorsed this change. Each governing body, comprised of people who have spent decades supporting UConn, believes the new structure will result in a stronger UConn Nation, with better services for alumni and friends.
A vote of ‘yes’ will affirm this decision, help facilitate a smooth transition, and lead to many positive developments:
- More coordinated points of service for all UConn alumni and friends. No truly great university can fully achieve its potential without a vast, supportive, and engaged alumni body. Our goal to dramatically increase the opportunities for you and others to stay close to UConn through expanded and improved services, such as career networking opportunities and admissions assistance. Of course, staff will still be designated specifically for alumni needs and the University intends for the Alumni Center to continue to serve as a home on the Storrs campus for all alumni.
- A more inclusive approach. Currently there are 230,000 UConn alumni. Of that number, only 5 percent, or about 13,000, are members of the Alumni Association. Another way to look at it: That means 95 percent, or 220,000 alums, are currently not members of UConn’s primary alumni outreach organization. As Donny Marshall, former captain of the UConn men’s basketball team and supporter of the alumni transition, says: “That (lack of Alumni Association members) doesn’t meet the championship standards for which UConn is known.’’ Many of the nation’s top colleges and universities have already eliminated their membership model in favor of this inclusive and integrated approach.
- More efficient use of resources. Bringing all institutional advancement activities under one umbrella—instead of having two separate organizations with overlapping goals—will increase the level of resources available to support alumni. Currently there are duplicated services, such as communications, event services, outside service contracts, and other administrative functions. Consolidating these areas strengthens our ability to invest in direct alumni engagement.
I understand that there may still be questions about this change, such as how will it affect chapters and other affiliate groups of the University.
Learn more on the UCAA’s voting information page.
Ultimately, UConn needs the loyal support of its alumni now more than ever. I encourage members to speak up with ONE strong voice and vote YES.
Joshua R. Newton
President & CEO
UConn Foundation, Inc.