Message from the Chair
Greetings friends and fellow alumnae/i!
The Board of Directors of the New College Alumnae/i Association had its second regular meeting for 2013-2014 on November 7th, 2013. Chief Mike Kessie of the New College Police Department was a guest speaker and alum Tony Lewis joined the board meeting by phone.
Tony called in to express his continued concerns regarding the move from elected to appointed directors. The Board reaffirmed our commitment, as has been expressed since the change was made, to revisit this decision after the 3 year appointment cycle (which is the same length that elected terms had been). The 3 year cycle will end when the appointments made at our May Board meeting become active at the fall board meeting.
Since the move to appointments, Board members have continued to engage alums regarding the change and solicit feedback, and we continue to welcome your comments. In addition, the Board devoted most of its meeting in February 2013 (during the reunion) to a public forum on the change. Generally, but not universally, the response has been favorable. Tony has expressed an interest in hosting his own call in forum for alums to discuss this issue.
Applications for the Board are available on the website at ncf.edu/about-ncaa. The application contains a “Statement of Intent” which will be made available for comment by all alums. Applicants will also need to complete the conflict of interest questionnaire. Applications are due by April 1, 2014. Appointments will be made at our Board meeting on May 24 and members appointed at that time will become active at our fall board meeting and will serve for a term of 3 years.
Shortly before our November 2013 meeting, I accepted the resignation of board director Stu Levitan ‘72 after consultation with the executive and governance committees and notified the board immediately. Stu had been a member of our Board since 2007 and contributed thoughtfully and meaningfully during his time on the board. We all deeply appreciate Stu’s service and thank him for his involvement.
During the meeting, the finance and fundraising committee reported to the board the success of our “Data for Dollars” campaign where board members gathered updated information from recent graduates/new alums to assist the college’s assessment under the new performance based funding metrics. If you are not familiar with these metrics, please see my previous chair letter here: ncf.edu/message-from-the-chair-archive.
All alums can also help the college’s assessment under the performance based funding metrics by donating at any level. New College’s national rankings are one of the metrics considered by the State in awarding funds and percentage of alum giving is one of the factors calculated in each of these rankings.
In addition, under these metrics the state only considers those alums that go to grad school or seek employment in Florida after graduating from New College. It also only considers the absolute number of bachelors’ degrees awarded each year. Because our school is so tiny and because so many of our alums receive Fulbright scholarships, attend graduate school at prestigious out-of-state schools, and accept employment positions around the world, we don’t think these metrics measure the true value of a New College education or reflect any appreciation for the special nature of New College. Alums are encouraged to contact Florida senators, representatives and the Governor’s office to express your opinions regarding the performance based funding metrics.
As expressed in my last report, one of our main goals for this year is improved communication. We are coordinating with the College’s office of Marketing and Communications to make certain the alums receive interesting and valuable information in a timely and efficient manner. This includes assessing our presence on social media, expanding the Nimbus to reach the broader New College community and using focused email communication. In the near future, you may receive a survey regarding communications and your interests. Your timely and thoughtful responses will help direct our efforts.
In addition, we remain devoted to increasing our presence in and the activity of our local chapters. We hope to receive updated reports from our various chapters on a regular basis to help keep alums connected. If you are interested in learning more about becoming a chapter volunteer and what areas have active online groups please visit: ncf.edu/chapters and ncf.edu/resources-for-alums. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to sign up to become a chapter volunteer.
All members of the Foundation Staff, including our Vice President for Alumnae/i Affairs, Jessica Rogers, and our Alum Coordinator, Sarah Thompson, became employees of the college effective November 4, 2013. Since NCAA is legally constituted as a committee of the Foundation, a direct support organization, the records of the Alumnae/i Association are “confidential and exempt” from disclosure under the public records statute. For the sake of clarity in our record keeping, please denote “NCAA” or “alumnae/i” in any written communications to NCAA staff or board members that pertain to alumnae/i affairs.
It is with a mix of emotions that I share our longest tenured Alum Coordinator Sarah Thompson has accepted a position as the Development Fellow for Annual and Parent Giving for Swarthmore College. Though we are excited for Sarah, we know she will be sorely missed at New College.
Sarah’s last day in the office was January 24th. Please join the NCAA board in congratulating Sarah!
For those interesting in applying or referring qualified applicants, the Alum Coordinator position opening has been posted to New College’s Career Site ncf.edu/employment. There are several active faculty and staff positions open at this time at New College. Those position descriptions can also be accessed on the career site.
Our next meeting is scheduled for February 15th tentatively from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. EASTERN. The following meeting is scheduled for May 24th tentatively from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. EASTERN, in conjunction with commencement. All board meetings are open to the public. Please contact email@example.com or 941-487-4900 for more information about attending a board meeting.
Finally, it is not too early to SAVE THE DATE for the next reunion. It is scheduled for October 30th to November 2nd 2014. We have many exciting things planned. Moving the reunion to the fall allows us to combine our events with other campus events, like the Clambake and Halloween PCP with the hope of making your trip back to campus as fulfilling and enjoyable as possible. There will be plenty of activities for alums (and future alums!) of all ages. This reunion is a very special one as we will also be celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Charter Class. Please be on the lookout for save-the-date and registration information coming soon. Visit the reunion weekend website to view the weekend schedule as it is updated ncf.edu/reunions. If you would like to volunteer during reunion weekend, please contact a member of the special events committee (Committee Chair- Thomas Knight ‘03, Cindy Hill ‘89, Frazier Carraway ‘72, Michael Dexter ‘07) at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As we enter 2014, on behalf of the alumnae/i board and staff, I extend our warmest wishes for a happy New Year. If there is any matter you feel the NCAA needs to address, please feel free to contact the board. A listing of board directors can be found here: ncf.edu/board-of-directors.
The New College Alumnae/i Association Board of Directors met on September 28th for our annual board retreat and installation of new board members and officers. For the next two years, I will be proudly serving you as board chair, Thomas Knight will serve as chair-elect and chair the Special Events committee, and Maia Hinkle will serve as Treasurer and chair the Fundraising and Finance Committee. For the next year, Hazel Bradford will serve as chair of the Communications committee, and Cindy Hill will serve as chair of the Governance Committee. Contact information for all officers and chairs can be found here: ncf.edu/board-of-directors
Immediately following the retreat, we held the first official meeting of the Board with the dynamic new board directors who were appointed this spring: Michael Dexter, Jordan Clark and Frazier Carraway. Our new directors were joined by an amazing group of current board members who were reappointed to another term: Colin Boyle, Carla Eastis, Stu Levitan, Robert Lincoln and Mitch Silverman. All members of the Board are extremely motivated, and each person brings their own set of pertinent and diverse experiences to the table. The members’ time at New College spans four decades, and their experiences since then come from the government, private, NGO, and academic sectors. I am tremendously excited about the board’s enthusiasm and commitment to achieving the goals set forth this coming year in support of the association!
During our retreat, we learned that the Florida Board of Governors, in its push towards performance based funding, has created a list of 10 metrics by which it will evaluate each school in the State University System and allocate funding in the next year. During their annual meeting hosted on New College’s campus September 12, the board discussed its allocation of $20 million in performance funding that was written into this year’s budget. Universities were evaluated on three metrics prioritized by Gov. Rick Scott: average salaries of graduates, percentage of graduates who are employed or continuing education, and cost-per-degree. Based on those, each university received a portion of the $20 million total.
The Board of Governors has now expanded that model, adding student success metrics such as graduation rates, retention rates and the number of degrees awarded in areas of strategic emphasis in anticipation of additional performance funding next year for a total of 10 metrics.
Because of New College’s unique nature and structure, providing quantifiable information to the State University System presents us with some unique challenges. The College, Foundation and Alumnae/i Association are all working in conjunction to address those issues and enhance our ability to compete for limited public resources. There are some metrics that the alumnae/i community is best suited to address and with which we request your immediate assistance.
First, one basis for funding is the number of alums who are either in graduate school or employed in the first year after graduation and, if employed, what your income is. The Alumnae/i Association is making a push to gather this data from all our alums, but in particular from classes that graduated in 2012 and 2013. We are not doing this to be “nosy” and will not share this information with anyone (except, of course, the State University System Board of Governors). Further, your information will not be shared directly, but rather will be factored in to the overall average that the college reports. We hope that you will provide this information as it is vital funding for our current students! If you did not update your information during the recent alum survey, you can help us now by updating your information here: ncf.edu/alum-update
The second basis on which we can make a tremendous impact on the schools evaluation and ultimate funding is with metric 9 - national ranking for institutional and program achievements – which was chosen by the BOG.
The percentage of our alums that make a gift to the New College Foundation is a factor of the equation in determining New College’s national rankings. If you have not yet contributed, please consider donating. No amount is too small! A contribution of any size from each of us can translate into hundreds of thousands of dollars, if not more for New College!! If you have not made your gift to The New College Fund for this fiscal year (July 1, 2013-June 30, 2014) you can do so here: ncf.edu/the-new-college-fund
There is a November 6 reporting deadline, so time is of the essence!! Please help New College shine in front of the State of Florida.
Outside of the collective effort to help the college with the critical needs related to metrics, the NCAA has set goals for enhancing the communication between alums and the Alumnae/i Association, revitalizing and expanding our local chapters, and rethinking reunions.
Special Events, Reunions and Local Chapters:
Regardless of when reunions occur, the Alumnae/i Association wants to host other events on campus though out the year for those who cannot make the reunion. We understand that it isn’t convenient for all alums to travel back to the Center of Universe at the same time each year, and want to make certain that we offer varied opportunities at different times during the year. To accomplish that goal, we are looking to build around other events planned on campus: Family Weekend in September, Halloween PCP in October, Clambake in November, Valentine’s PCP in February, Commencement and the New College vs. Ringling flag football games. We encourage alums to let us know what time of year is best for them to return to campus and what sorts of events will bring them back!
We are extremely excited about revitalizing and expanding our local chapters and are encouraging all chapters to meet at least 4 times per year. If you are interested in helping with a chapter in your area—welcoming new alums to your area, posting on the FB page about upcoming events and news of interest to your local alum cohort or maybe even meeting with prospective students and their families, please let us know. If you would like to participate in an upcoming event in your chapter area, please visit our chapter site here: ncf.edu/chapters
I look forward to getting to know as many of you as possible and working with you and our board to make us the most responsive and active the association has ever been. Thank you for your commitment and support of the NCAA and New College!
Susan “Spozy” Sapoznikoff '83