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.
"God bless Donald Duck, Vaudeville and Variety"

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!"
Hell hath no greater fury than a UMass Alum scorned!

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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.
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https://businesswest.com/blog/umass-alu ... hips-life/
Hell hath no greater fury than a UMass Alum scorned!

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