Alumni Board Meeting Minutes

Tuesday 27th February 2018


Richard Mayson (meeting chair), Mark Ansell, Susan Belcher, Jennifer Crook, Guilherme Guimaraes, Sally Jones, Keith Layden, Trevor Richards, Katherine Whitton

In attendance

Miles Stevenson, Claire Rundstrom, Andrew Dodman, Michelle Moore, Lizzie Ruse


Laura Gribben


Susanna Chiu, Emily Knights, Alison Gardner, Alison Hope, Alice Lord, Martin McKervey, Chris Furness, Sir Peter Middleton, Kathryn Riddle, Abdi Suleiman, Richard Hudson, Claire Kilner, Tom Slatter

1. Welcome and Introductions
Minutes and matters arising: The minutes were approved as a correct record of the last meeting.

2. VC Recruitment followed by discussion, Andrew Dodman, Chief Operating Officer
Andrew Dodman, Chief Operating Officer, gave a presentation about the appointment process for the next President & Vice Chancellor of the University. The process would include consultation with colleagues and stakeholders, and AD would welcome input from the Alumni Board members. He explained the structure of the Appointment Committee and that it was the first time that the Students’ Union Officers have been invited to be involved.

AD ran through the planned timeline. There would be staff webpages detailing the progress of the selection process and a dedicated email address that staff would use to make enquiries.

The new VC would be expected to deliver the current strategy and contribute to the long term plans for the University. AD expected the candidates to be values-driven, have an understanding of alumni relations, in particular campaigns and philanthropic leadership, and its ever increasing importance.

3. Distinguished Alumni Awards, Claire Rundstrom, Head of Alumni Relations
The Board members decided which of the nominated people would be recommended to the VC to receive Distinguished Alumni Awards:

It was agreed that the Distinguished Alumni Awards would be tied in with an occasion such as graduation, or an event. It was confirmed that nominated alumni could be considered for Honorary Degrees or vice versa.

4. Alumni Portal and demonstration, Claire Rundstrom, Head of Alumni Relations
The Board watched a demonstration of the Alumni Portal. The Portal was different to social media in that it promoted targeted and relevant content such as networking information, employment opportunities and events. There would be the option to include special interest groups, sports clubs, mentoring opportunities and research. The portal was successful at Imperial College and at many institutions in Europe and the US. The Board suggested asking these institutions for best practice advice.

The Board agreed the key elements to consider were the portal’s content, the resource needed to manage it and the need to recruit alumni to join and keep coming back.

5. Convocation Lecture and Alumni Forum
The Convocation Lecture invitations would go out to alumni after Easter. The Lecture was planned for 6th June following the Alumni Forum in the late afternoon. The Board agreed that questions for the Alumni Forum would be collated in advance with the possibility of a live stream of the session. Future suggestions for the 2020 Lecture were discussed.

6. Fundraising update, Michelle Moore, Deputy Director of Advancement & Head of Fundraising
Michelle Moore, Deputy Director of Advancement & Head of Fundraising, gave a presentation titled ‘Expanding the University of Sheffield’s Philanthropic Ambitions’ which included information about DARE’s mission, trends in University funding, plans for future fundraising and achievements to date.

The Big Walk was scheduled for 22nd June 2018 and Board members were invited to participate.

7. Events
The Board discussed upcoming events over the next year. Formal events such as the House of Lords and lectures, along with informal events, such as the Pub Quiz, both continued to be successful.

8. AOB and future agenda items
MS was sad to report that Sir Alan Graham Dawtry, CBE, TD, LLB Law (1937) and Hon LLD (2007), one of the University’s oldest alumni, had passed away. There was a link to the obituary on the DARE website (

Date of the next meeting: Wednesday 6th June 2018, Sheffield.