Alumni Board Meeting Minutes

27 June 2016


Mr Richard Mayson, in the Chair and Mr John Kelly as Deputy Chair

Professor Elizabeth Gillott, Mr Chris Furness, Mrs Claire Kilner, Dr Trevor Richards, Dr Tom Slatter, Professor Tilli Tansey, Miss Sikose Mjali, Dr Kathryn Riddle


Miss Heather Bellamy

In attendance

Mr Robert Dufton, Miss Emma Packham, Mrs Claire Rundström, Mr Miles Stevenson, Professor Shearer West, Ms Anne Horn, Mr Freddie Larden


Mr Mark Ansell, Ms Susanna Chiu, Professor Claire McGourlay, Mr Brian Wrigley, Ms Emily Knights, Dr Keith Layden, Mr Ciaran Jones, Ms Mina Kasherova, Mr Christy McMorrow

1. Introduction

The Chair welcomed members to the meeting, including the Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor Shearer West and Anne Horn Director of Library Services. The Chair announced that following a review of membership terms, this meeting would be the last for some members of the board who would be thanked formally in a later item.

2. Minutes and matters arising

The minutes were approved as a correct record of the last meeting. The matters arising had been covered by items in this meeting agenda.

3. Report by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor

The Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Professor Shearer West gave a report to the Board about the consequences of the EU Referendum result and the work of the University in the immediate aftermath. The Deputy Vice-Chancellor also asked the Alumni Board to advise on how to best communicate with alumni regarding the impact the referendum result may have.

4. University Charter Day

Freddie Larden, Charter Day Global Coordinator, gave a report on the pilot activities of the University Charter Day. The report included case studies and the results of the evaluation, as well as several challenges and solutions to overcome these in the future. In the discussion, alumni highlighted the need to involve international groups in future and provide support to help build such groups.

5. The Convocation Fund

The Board received a report from the Convocation Fund working group which outlined three shortlisted ideas for the fund money to be spent, taking into consideration DARE’s resource limitations: an annual convocation lecture, assistance to overseas alumni volunteers to help fund activities and student travel grants. The Chair also highlighted the need to receive all legal paperwork from the Convocation Fund Trustees in order to move forward with the distribution of the fund.

It was agreed that: the interest of the Convocation Fund would be split between supporting a special guest speaker (one of our alumni) lecture on campus which would occur every two years and to provide annual support for international alumni events and groups. It was also felt that the date of the lecture could provide the possibility for an occasion for an alumni forum at which a report from the Alumni Board to the wider alumni community could be given. Half of the money will be spent on international activities to allow the legacy of Charter Day to grow, starting in 2017; the first lecture would be held in 2018.

6. Library Services for Alumni

The Board heard a presentation by Anne Horn, Director of Library Services & University Librarian about the services available for alumni and future plans for the department. There are currently 562 alumni members of the library and various benefits for members including access to collections, exhibitions and the loan and request service. Anne also expressed her gratitude to the Alumni Fund and the donations that will go towards upgrading the Western Bank reading room.

7. Alumni and the Students’ Union

This item will be passed over to the next meeting due to the unavailability of the President of the Students’ Union.

It was agreed that: Heather Bellamy would ensure the new Students’ Union President was briefed fully about the item in advance of the next meeting.

8. University fundraising

The Board received a paper and heard a presentation from Robert Dufton, Director of Campaigns. The presentation outlined the history of philanthropy at the University, the campaigns strategy and structure as well as benchmarking in the Ross CASE survey against other institutions. Robert also highlighted challenges to University fundraising such as the Fundraising Preference Service and shared his aspirations for the future including a university-wide campaign. During the discussion members of the Board asked about how the office can make fundraising relevant for the younger generation, Robert suggested community fundraising, good student engagement and giving clubs or a giving day as potential ways to encourage giving.

9. Alumni events past and future

The Board received a paper detailing alumni and University events past and future. Miles Stevenson mentioned that based on a review of the reunion programme, the Reunion Luncheon would be split into two separate events in 2017, one for alumni celebrating their 50th anniversary and a separate event for 60th and 65th anniversary alumni. Kathryn Riddle praised the team for their organisation of the luncheon and reported that she had received excellent feedback from guests.

Emma Packham mentioned that all members of the Alumni Board will have received an invitation to the upcoming Volunteer Conference and Alumni Volunteers Thank You Event and Awards on 6 October 2016.

10. AOB and future agenda items

November meeting:
• The role of the Alumni Board in contributing to the University’s strategic aims and objectives.
• Update on the Convocation Fund.
• Embedding alumni relations into the University, case study from the Faculty of Engineering.
• Report from the Students’ Union on how alumni can support them

March meeting:
• Alumni ambassadors
• Portal update

11. Membership of the Alumni Board

The Board received a paper detailing the agreed membership terms and each member had received a letter from the Chair regarding their term. The Chair thanked those members whose terms were ending, for their contribution to the Board’s work and encouraged them to keep in touch and expressed that they could be called upon to offer advice in the future.

12. Date of next meetings

• 4 November 2016, SITraN – the Alumni Board will be joined by new members as well as the University of Sheffield in America Board.
• March 2017, London, venue TBD
• June 2017, University of Sheffield, venue TBD