Alumni Board Meeting Minutes

Wednesday 15th November 2017


Richard Mayson, meeting Chair

Mark Ansell, Susan Belcher, Jenny Crook, Chris Furness, Guilherme Guimaraes, Sally Jones, Claire Kilner, Keith Layden, Alison Hope, Alice Lord, Trevor Richards, Kathryn Riddle, Tom Slatter, Abdi-aziz Suleiman


Laura Gribben

In attendance

Sarah Barnes, Andrew Dodman, Paula Gould, Jemma Gurr, Richard Hudson, Ian Jones, Michelle Moore, Sara Qutub, Claire Rundstrom, Lizzie Ruse, Deborah Sinclair, Miles Stevenson, Stephen Thompson, Gill Valentine  


Susanna Chiu, Alison Gardner, Emily Knights, Martin McKervey, Katherine Whitton

1. Welcome and Introductions

The Chair welcomed new Board members Jenny Crook, Alice Lord and Katherine Whitton and new DARE staff appointed since the last meeting; Paula Gould, Richard Hudson, Lizzie Ruse and Laura Gribben.

The Board was informed that Susanna Chiu was awarded the Outstanding Business Woman of the Year and had sent her apologies in order to attend the awards dinner in Hong Kong.

2. Minutes and matters arising

The minutes were approved as a correct record of the last meeting.

3. Current issues for UEB

Interim Provost and DVC, Professor Gill Valentine, spoke of the changes to tuition fee regulations and how this would be implemented.

The University of Sheffield is ranked 13th nationally and 104th internationally by the THE. The #WeAreInternational campaign won the inaugural PIEoneer Award for marketing campaign of the year.

Professor Valentine outlined the Research Excellence Framework.

There would also be changes to programme level assessment to give students balanced feedback.

4. Convocation Lecture with Helen Sharman, and Alumni Forum

After discussion, the Board agreed to hold an Alumni Q&A session, lasting approximately one hour, before the Convocation Lecture. Mr Mayson agreed that the session would be for information and also to give alumni a platform to propose ideas.

5. Branding and University reputation, including overseas

Stephen Thompson, Deputy Director of Corporate Communications and Head of Digital, gave a presentation on the branding of the University. Virtual tours of The Diamond were valuable to overseas students who could not attend the open day in person.

6. Alumni Portal update

Claire Rundstrom updated the Board on proposals for an Alumni Portal. The portal would provide the expanding alumni body with a means of keeping in touch with the University, with each other, with potential employers, and to form sub-groups wherever they were in the world.

7. International Alumni Relations; international events and groups

Sara Qutub gave a presentation about the international alumni events in Kuala Lumpar, Shanghai and Hong Kong. There were distinguished alumni in attendance, and Ms Qutub planned to extend this activity to Beijing and the Middle East, with the possibility of Australia. The Alumni Portal would be beneficial in maintaining the links between alumni in countries where they were not as concentrated geographically as in the UK.

8. Campus developments

Ian Jones, Head of Accommodation Services, gave a presentation about the student accommodation changes in recent years and the predictions for the future. An increase in student accommodation provided by private companies had increased prices and competition. Mr Jones explained the changes to students’ requirements, such as wanting shorter lets, and how the University was meeting these requirements. A new hotel providing one night to several weeks or months bookings was now open.

9. Events

Deborah Sinclair and Sarah Barnes gave a presentation detailing the changes to the format of the Annual Alumni Reunion and gave examples of the positive feedback received following the 2017 event. The event was held on the same day as a University open day which contributed to the atmosphere on the day.

10. Fundraising update

Michelle Moore informed the Board how successful the Big Walk 2017 was in raising funds to the Sheffield Scanner campaign. Jemma Gurr presented the Board with the direct mail campaign material, which included a feature about a patient who would benefit from being treated with the Scanner. A pub quiz and a creative craft sale for Christmas were being planned.

10. A.O.B

There were none.

11. Date of next meeting

27th February 2018, London