UMass Disconnect

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Doc Moonlight
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Re: UMass Disconnect

Post by Doc Moonlight » Wed Nov 06, 2019 9:42 am

In 2009, UMASS engaged the services of Benz, Whaley, Flessner a Minneapolis based consulting firm specializing in Alumni relations, to "access the Alumni Association's efforts and outcomes in connecting to and engaging with the 226,000 graduates for a lifetime". The cost of the study was approximately $20k.

Their report was issued on March 11, 2011. From the report:

"• Alumni have been critical of UMASS, the Amherst Campus, and the Alumni Association for over a decade. The situation is viewed as complex and dysfunctional. There is a culture of distrust and contentious relationships.
• Everyone is sure that they are right, and others are wrong. Some carry out crusades to fuel the fires year-after-year, and ascribe themselves as dissidents. Among the modes of behavior have been either to cut-off dissenters and/or to air grievances sent to a wide distribution of recipients, including the UMASS president and Amherst chancellor. The cause of the hostility and distrust runs deep and wide.
• At present, there are no winners. Unless these tumultuous issues related to the UMAA Board of Directors are tackled head-on and resolved, there will be no winners, no matter who is at the helm of the university, the campus, the association board or the association staff."

I think it's important to recognize that this "culture of distrust and contentious relationships" has been allowed to exist for a long time. It didn't begin with any one Executive Director (although the last one didn't do anything to ameliorate the situation and arguably made it worse). As BWF reports, the causes are "deep and wide". And if they were in existence for "over a decade" in 2011, that means, give or take, that they have been in existence for about 20 years. And things are not any better. Let that sink in.

A world class university deserves a world class alumni association.
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69MG
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Re: UMass Disconnect

Post by 69MG » Wed Nov 06, 2019 10:46 am

ameliorate
Maybe the word of the year on UMassHoops.com. :D

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MJatUM
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Re: UMass Disconnect

Post by MJatUM » Wed Nov 06, 2019 11:13 am

Sincere question.... Does anyone that has graduated from UMass in the last 20 years have any interaction with the AA?

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e_parade
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Re: UMass Disconnect

Post by e_parade » Wed Nov 06, 2019 12:00 pm

MJatUM wrote:
Wed Nov 06, 2019 11:13 am
Sincere question.... Does anyone that has graduated from UMass in the last 20 years have any interaction with the AA?
I graduated in 2009 and personally do not. I do have friends who are participating with it quite a bit though, and have run into them at a few outings in Boston (that I was unaware were happening and just happened into them).

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Quann
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Re: UMass Disconnect

Post by Quann » Thu Nov 07, 2019 9:09 am

I’m from 2003 and have had little interaction with them since I graduated.

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InnervisionsUMASS
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Re: UMass Disconnect

Post by InnervisionsUMASS » Thu Nov 07, 2019 9:14 am

This is one of those institutional issues that I eluded to in the Fire Bell thread in the Football forum. The problems with football run deeper than just the sport/program itself, and this is one of them.
Stop waiting for UMass to do something big and help UMass do something big. - Shades

69MG
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Re: UMass Disconnect

Post by 69MG » Thu Nov 07, 2019 10:58 am

I haven't said much regarding the AA, but after having a chat with Ed at the BB game I'll relay one story I have. As you may know, every year the AA sends out a message asking for nominations for the BOD. About 5 or 6 years ago a friend of mine, Class of 1961, who lives 30 minutes from Amherst asked if I would submit his name. I wrote what I thought was a good letter of recommendation.

This person is a Legacy member of the AA and he is a STH in BB, Hockey and FB. He is active in his town, chairs various events for the library, etc. and has worked to increase resident participation in many town activities. He also has a lot of ideas on how to promote UMass to Alums and prospective students. He would also fill an age demographic lacking in the BOD.

To make a long story short, he wasn't even considered for nomination. Enough said.

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SignMan
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Re: UMass Disconnect

Post by SignMan » Sat Nov 09, 2019 12:14 pm

^ "He would also fill an age demographic lacking in the BOD."

During my time on the AA BOD 2001-2007, upon the recommendation of a past President and then current BOD member, an Alum was given a one-year AA Presidential appointment...by the then-President, a fraternity brother and friend of the past President (There were several AA Presidents who were from the same Fraternity).

The appointee was/is a real estate attorney.
There is a brief video online on which he states: "I stand for respect, and I stand for UMass."

Per State filings by the AA, his name first appeared as an AA BOD member for a one-year (appointed) term through the end of FY03, then, the following year, for a three-year term through the end of FY06. He apparently resigned after one year of the three-year term, as of the end of FY04, inasmuch as his name ceased appear as a BOD member as of the 2004 filing.

During his tenure on the BOD, he was appointed as the Nominating chair.

Concerned re: the lack of both minorities and out-of-State alums on the BOD, I nominated two alums...to be on the same ballot.

One of my nominations received his Masters in Sports Management and had recently been a guest speaker at UMass, invited by the SM program. He was rejected from being placed on the ballot by the now current AA Interim E.D. Her reason was that the application she required from potential candidates was received two days past the deadline she set, despite the fact that I personally told her that this person is Black, diversity on the BOD was lacking, and that he had the recent speaking engagement, ... a fact in itself that should have been enough to qualify him. She adamantly disqualified him for being two days late getting it to her.

To the best of my recollection, there were no Black candidates on the ballot for that election.

My other nomination is an alum from my class, who I did not know until I recognized him at a HOF induction ceremony in the Student Union in the 1990s.

He really did not want to be on the BOD, but agreed to run for me...
He was a great candidate...out-of-Stater, former gridster, a well respected Certified Civil Trial Lawyer, and a capital donor to the conversion of the old gymnastics area in Boyden to the then football weight room.

I remained on top of what was going on with his nomination. In addition to the filing of Nomination papers with the AA, the real estate attorney in charge of the Nominations required a personal interview (phone). After all, in his words... "I stand for respect, and I stand for UMass."

I contacted both attorneys. What I was told was shocking. It was quite evident that the respect referred to by the chair was his need to receive idea of respect for himself.

I called the Nominating Chair attorney for an update. In what I will describe here to perfection, inasmuch as I vividly remember the conversation, he told me, in a surly and somewhat angry manner, that he had called my nominee two days prior for the interview, left a vmail and (humph!), had not received a call back yet. He was actually pissed off about it. I told him I would check it out.

I called my friend and he gave me the facts. He had an ongoing important court case and was in court every day that week; that he intended to call back after that...as soon as he had time for it. ... most reasonable.

When we next spoke, he told me that we he did call him back, and he was treated in a very disrespectful way...

The real estate attorney, not a trial attorney with court cases, told my nominee that he is also an attorney; that he should have shown him greater respect and returned his call immediately. My nominee, a gentleman, did not mince his words with me, but my interpretation was rather on target that the Nomination dictator was being a real a*hole.

<Aside> I related these exchanges with the past President who recommended the Nominating chair as a Presential appointment. He told me that he really was not a practicing attorney, but was managing his own real estate. (no further knowledge re: this, by me).
The Past President also told me he now thought that he made a mistake recommending him.

The Nominating chair had been directed to seek diversity re: the process/choices for the ballot.

Slate: No persons of color, no out-of State alums, etc.
There was one alum from the '70s, and one from the '80s.

At the next BOD meeting, the chair, when asked to discuss the chosen slate for the election to the AA BOD, and what he accomplished re: diversity, declared, glowingly, that he had achieved "AGE DIVERSITY!"
What could SM be doing when he is not making Signs?

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SignMan
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Re: UMass Disconnect

Post by SignMan » Tue Nov 12, 2019 4:00 pm

https://www.umass.edu/newsoffice/articl ... ssociation

https://newsletter.alumni.ucla.edu/exec ... fault2.htm

http://magazine.ucla.edu/depts/quicktak ... alph-amos/
https://alumni.ucla.edu/board-of-directors-2007-08/
https://alumni.ucla.edu/board-of-directors-2008-09/
https://alumni.ucla.edu/board-of-directors-2009-10/
https://alumni.ucla.edu/board-of-directors-2010-11/
https://alumni.ucla.edu/board-of-directors-2011-12/

UCLA Alumni Association
Executive Director for Alumni Relations, Chief Financial Officer
Company NameUCLA Alumni Association
Dates EmployedDec 2007 – Jan 2012
Employment Duration4 yrs 2 mos
LocationGreater Los Angeles Area
Led alumni engagement initiatives for nearly 500,000 alumni of the #1 public university in the nation in support of its $4.2 billion Centennial Campaign.
<LinkedIn>

https://businesswest.com/blog/umass-alu ... hips-life/
What could SM be doing when he is not making Signs?

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SignMan
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Re: UMass Disconnect

Post by SignMan » Mon Feb 24, 2020 1:38 pm

continued DISCONNECT...

4 months since Homecoming and the FAILED!!! Class of 1969 Reunion...
they (AA & top campus Admin can consider it the Class Reunion; but, in reality, it was the first 50th Year Class NON-REUNION)!!!

Not a word since to class members, from the AA or from THE CHANCELLOR...
NO APOLOGY!!!

an UNDER THE RUG UM SPECIAL!

will they now just Fast Forward to the Class of 1970 and put a real effort pedal to the metal as if last year never happened?
or will they have the audacity to attempt to combine the ill-fated 1969s along for the 1970s ride?

Like playing a basketball game @ Mullins with NO TEAM, NO FANS, & NO BALLS!
What could SM be doing when he is not making Signs?

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Old Cage
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Re: UMass Disconnect

Post by Old Cage » Mon Feb 24, 2020 2:44 pm

And here are some random thought on the possible direction to go:

1. George Washington - https://www.gwhatchet.com/2019/09/12/un ... ing-funds/

2. UConn - https://www.courant.com/education/hc-uc ... story.html

3. UA-Huntsville - https://www.uah.edu/news/news/uah-alumn ... nd-purpose

There are more that you can find easily with a search.
"Jack didn’t have any envy in him," Calipari said. "He was the greatest coach to ever coach here."

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SignMan
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Re: UMass Disconnect

Post by SignMan » Mon Feb 24, 2020 11:15 pm

^ Excellent post...
Glad you are on board.
In addition to us, there are other hoops.com followers who were already aware of the direction other U's have been going to with their AAs.

I see no reason for the UM AA to continue on as a failing org until it dies.
Protect the remaining assets and put it to proper use.
This includes AA invested assets as well as the annual $1M+ the system has been spending on each campus' AA...
(# based on info presented at meeting I attended approx.13-15 years ago).

I am interested in what happened to the Life Membership Endowment. As a Charter Life Member (1st 50), we were told the Endowment would be just that, an Endowment whose income only would be used for the Life Members scholarships. I have never seen a single financial report on it, including during the six years I served on the BOD, 2001-2007. Repeated requests by me for such Annual Report(s) were denied, and on occasions I requested same since then, I was denied them.

Any withholding of such info from BOD members stands in direct violation of Attorney General Guidelines.

I have heard, unsubstantiated but totally believable, that under the most recent permanent Executive Director, changes may have been made, under which the Endowment corpus may have been used, or at least a part of it, for operational costs. If this is true, I may seek to have all Life Members reimbursed what they paid into the Life Membership Endowment.

It is of interest that the number of AA F/T Staff has dramatically decrease recently, from what I believe was at least 21 to the current 12. The makeup of the 12 is of great interest now, inasmuch as the AA is often promoting the concept of DIVERSITY.
The remaining 12 includes 11 Females, 1 Male and what appears to be just one (F) minority.
What could SM be doing when he is not making Signs?

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SignMan
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Re: UMass Disconnect

Post by SignMan » Mon Feb 24, 2020 11:18 pm

AA Executive Director JC Schnabel was relieved of his position as of March 2019. To the best of my knowledge, there is no Search underway for a new E.D.
What could SM be doing when he is not making Signs?

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SignMan
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Re: UMass Disconnect

Post by SignMan » Thu Feb 27, 2020 2:14 pm

Well, this certainly is interesting!!!

I was informed this week that the Alumni Association is moving/has moved out of Memorial Hall!!!

Curious as to where, I first checked the AA site and it continues to show its address @ Mem Hall.

I called the AA toll-free # and it was answered by, likely, a student, wherever she is located.

I asked and was told they are no longer in MH, so I asked where they moved to...
She had to look it up...
WOW!

I was told they have moved OFF-CAMPUS!!!
here:


How exciting ...
her UMAA now @

The McKesson Building
380 Russell Street
2nd Fl
Hadley

I inquired among Alumni Relations pros I know elsewhere.
They were shocked.
considering it a BIG MISTAKE, with the national trend currently to move Alumni Relations and Development together so there is more synergy, and be able to bring alums back to the campus not somewhere off campus.

Dazed and Confused
SM
What could SM be doing when he is not making Signs?

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Quann
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Re: UMass Disconnect

Post by Quann » Thu Feb 27, 2020 5:56 pm

^^^^^
Yikes, that is terrible news.

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