Black Alumni Constituent Society Board Meeting
Sept. 6, 2014, Alumni Center
Present: Charlene Alexander, Dori Armstead, Fred Cox, Jarrod Dortch, Teresa Jeter, Nikkia Jones, Pam Morris, Carl Radford and Sue Taylor. By phone: Jarod Crowley, Charmaine Powell, Keith Robinson, Tammy Robinson, Allen Williams. Guest: Mike Chisley
Call to order
The meeting was called to order by President Morris at 10:07 a.m. with greetings from those attending by phone.
June 21, 2014 meeting minutes were approved following a motion from Alexander and second from Jeter.
The Council has not met since our last meeting. Jeter will attend her first meeting as the BACS representative on Saturday, September 13.
BACS Alumni Board
Morris provided a presentation and facilitated discussion on the following:
o Characteristics of Effective Boards
o Annual gift (expectation) at least $250 (approved at the Nov. 8 2013)
o Clarification of (fiscal/calendar year gifts) Make a gift within each 12 months to remain active.
Discussion regarding the board’s effectiveness was begun by Williams, who stated that having a structured framework is necessary to be cohesive and have ability to serve all Black Alumni, regardless of grad years. Morris added that volunteers and implementers are needed to accomplish board initiatives, and Williams added that volunteer committees made up of those in the BACS but sitting on the board would be advantageous.
Morris said that communication and timely responses were falling short by board, and Jeter added that if a board member is no longer interested in actively participating as a leader, to notify her or Morris.
Some members voiced concern over the suggestion that a weak board might go on hiatus until it was strengthened, but assurance was expressed that this was meant to be a wake-up call.
Several members agreed that enforcement of by-laws regarding attendance and giving must take place. K Robinson said that if meeting dates are changed, other commitments that conflict come into play, and Armstead suggested drilling down to root causes of poor attendance.
Morris addressed leadership from board with financial support of the scholarship programs, and encouraging other black alumni to support these funds to assist black students.
Alexander recommended that a rubric for success be created. What does it look like? Outline goals to provide the direction the board will take.
Cox added that Ball State Alumni leadership wants this board to be successful, and that there is one other board currently on hiatus until members determine their direction and get more participation. He agreed that clear goals, financial expectations, and activities to support students are important for this board, and that the BACS must be known for more than its reunion. He offered that perhaps the next reunion should not take place in 2015, but 2016. Reunion co-chair Armstead concurred.
Radford recommended that an independent facilitator work with the board to assist with updating its mission and strategic plan. T. Robinson offered her firm, and will contact a colleague, and they will work pro bono to assist.
K. Robinson asked that we utilize either google docs live or skype to include those who cannot attend in person, and Taylor will see what can be offered.
The student representative for this board has been open for a long while. Alexander recommended contacting the president of the Black Student Association, and Williams said that he had also invited a student when he attended the Multicultural Picnic on campus a couple weeks ago. Morris and Taylor will follow-up with these.
T. Robinson suggested using a google calendar to suggest dates that work for upcoming meetings.
Morris will communicate with the independent facilitator and a questionnaire will be distributed to each board member for completion prior to next meeting.
BSU Homecoming participation
Jeter asked for interest in parade participation, and the group did not respond positively at this time.
Taylor said that refreshments at Alumni Tent and watching parade as a group near the corner of McKinley and University avenues around 10 a.m. is an opportunity to gather, in addition to dining at the pre-game luncheon at the Alumni Center. Dortch volunteered himself and Crowley to greet alumni at the tent on campus in the morning. Armstead recommended leveraging the alumni who attend Homecoming for publicity about the BACS, and Dortch mentioned the large number of alumni who tailgate rather than buying lunch at the Alumni Center. Both places need a presence. Jones suggested that board members wear BACS shirts and all agreed. Taylor said that red Homecoming T-shirts are available to purchase. They could be customized with the BACS on one side. Details will be emailed.
Next meeting dates
• Board agreed to save November 8 and November 15, depending on which would be better for the facilitator.
• The next meeting will begin at 9 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 8 and will last 4 hours.
A motion to adjourn was seconded and unanimously approved.
Important Upcoming Dates:
• Alumni Council, Saturday, September 13
• Homecoming, Saturday, October 11. Parade, 10 a.m.; Pre-game
Luncheon, noon – 3 p.m., Kick-off, 3 p.m.
• Football Invitation to the Suite for Oct. 25 v Akron. Details will be emailed.
Black Alumni Constituent Society Board of Directors Meeting
February 8, 2014
Present: Charlene Alexander, Dori Armstead, Mike Chisley, Fred
Cox, Jarrod Dortch, Teresa Jeter, Nikkia Jones, Pam Morris, Carl Radford, Kevin
Riley, Sue Taylor, and Laura Waldron. Phone: Jarod Crowley, Charmaine Powell,
and Allen Williams.
Call to Order
The meeting was called to order at 10:16 a.m. by President Morris. Jeter served as parliamentarian in T. Robinson’s absence.
Minutes from the November 9, 2013 were unanimously approved following Cox’s motion and Radford’s second.
New members Charlene Alexander, Dori Armstead, Nikkia Jones and Kevin Riley
were introduced. Faculty representative,
Alexander, is the associate provost for diversity and director of the Office of
Institutional Diversity (Whitinger Building, Room 134). Alexander reported
plans for a February 25 tribute to Nelson Mandela focusing on his emphasis on
reconciliation. This event focuses attention on the work of Shaffer Chapel
and bringing together Marion and Muncie. There will be a celebration in
the Student Center Ball Room at 6:30 p.m. with drumming and readings (i.e.,
Mandela’s inaugural address).
Alumni Council Report – January 18, 2014
Chisley reported that the last two Council meetings mostly were spent on
strategic planning, revisiting the bylaws, and the association’s new direction.
Chip Jaggers, University Development, spoke about the Cardinal Commitment campaign for athletic scholarships and facility upgrades. The Council voted to
assist via a matching gift challenge.
The Alumni Association will match gifts through 2014 up to $300,000. Chisley planned for this to be his last meeting, however, the terms of service moved to a fiscal year and he will remain on Council until June 30. If the
society would like to be seen as a vital source and model for students, be believes they
need to have a strong representative on Council. Send nominations to Taylor.
Chisley updated the society on the presidential search,
noting that Cox and Alexander serve on the search committee. Alexander said if there
is not a strong candidate, an interim will be in place on July 1 until the
right candidate is found through a new search. Cox noted that nine forums have
been held with faculty, staff, students, and the community and included
comments about what each audience wanted in a president. Chisley and Morris
shared their concern that there might not be a focus on diversity needs as it
was not mentioned in the update at council. Alexander said that the committee
is very thoughtful about diversity needs and what Ball State wants to become as a campus
community. Cox added that Wayne Estopinal, search chairman, presented an
overall view, and the diversity focus is there.
Morris added that diversity and community need to be specific in a
Taylor reported on the year-end fundraising letter - $2,190 in new
pledges/gifts resulted, according to the annual fund director, with actual
year end gifts totaling $800. Radford asks Taylor to check into the
number of actual gifts as it seems low to him. Thank you notes will be
available to sign at the next meeting.
Scholarship and Fundraising Committee (newly combined)
As the fundraising and scholarship committees had similar volunteers and the goals are related, the committees were merged. The Scholarship and Fundraising Committee includes Morris (chair), Armstead, Jones, Radford, Riley, and Taylor. Regarding scholarships, Morris will
talk with RoAnne Royer-Engle to disseminate applications, Alexander will assist.
Scholarship text has been adjusted to say the award will be “at least” $200.
The award is a gift card to Barnes and Noble Bookstore for books
Discussion ensued regarding stabilizing scholarship funds.
Morris suggested that the committee research fundraising options or consider
organizing fundraising phone calls as the society has done in the past. It was noted that education and student
engagement are keys to successful fundraising endeavors. As work continues
to that end, the committee might discuss fundraising targets with an
outside professional. Taylor reminded the committee to ensure fundraising opportunities fall within the university's guidelines and policies.
Alumni and Student Engagement
Jeter opened the floor for discussion regarding increasing awareness of
the BACS organization, mission, and projects.
The BACS is more than the reunion and alumni need to be
engaged by additional means. She noted that using social media (i.e., Divine
Nine Facebook page) and reaching out to Greek alumni helped in 2013. Taylor agreed, noting that over 400 joined the
page within two weeks and this organization needs to be proactive and
purposeful in alumni and student outreach.
Homecoming (i.e. participating in the parade again, renting a tent,
tailgating), connecting with on campus Greeks, teaching students how to “pay it
forward,” and recognizing/publicizing achievements of alumni and students were
offered for further discussion. To that end, Morris reminded the board that she will participate at the Celebration of Excellence.
Williams noted that the society has focused on
one size fits all marketing and there should be a more strategic marketing –
focus on a special interest to each age group or student group. If students
tailgate, the society can go out to students and still have an alumni tent at
the Alumni Center. Crowley added that the younger generation is visual and strategy should utilize business
cards and posters.
Cox reminded the board that there is an open student
position on the society board. The society could add a student representative or two to this board and the reunion committee.
Jeter suggested looking to officers or representatives from student
Jones cited a lack of BACS awareness by the students. When she graduated, she
had no connection, even if she knew of events. She suggested the board host an
event during move in week or co-host Multicultural Center events. When present
at student events, alumni can greet students and build relationships, perhaps
serving as mentors or, at least, periodically checking in. Jones added that she
was a member of many student organizations that were not Greek and will make a list of groups for the next meeting. Williams and
Armstead were in agreement about this involvement and mentoring – career or
otherwise. Armstead would like to see BACS look into a formal mentoring
Alexander shared about the PHD Pathways Program, a mentor
program for PhD students of color to connect to faculty (started CCIM, extended
to TC) and encourage students to commit to staying in college.
Williams asked if BACS could put together an orientation packet for
incoming freshman regarding BACS, resources available, key
points of interest, and he suggested that the society work to build and maintain the
relationship through social media contacts or postcard. The relationship would be established from the moment students arrive on campus, and it is up to the
society to maintain.
An outreach subcommittee will be convened by Jeter to flesh out
these ideas and bring suggestions to the next meeting. The committee will include Alexander, Dortch, Jones, and Williams.
Williams updated the society on the BACS exhibit at the library. There are materials and papers from Dr.
Foster regarding the black student experience. Dr. Myland Brown was interviewed
at Homecoming and Bob Coatie will be interviewed soon.
—Morris reminded the society that active membership requires an annual gift to any Ball
State University fund. It is hoped that members will consider one or both of the
scholarship funds when making a gift. The standard is at least $250 year or can
be gifted in installments. Dortch asked for clarification on when this policy
was established. Cox said it was approved at the last meeting and was approved in the minutes at the beginning of
this meeting. Radford noted that this
suggestion is a minimum.
—Please submit nominations for Alumni Council representatives to Taylor by May
17. The society thanked Chisley for his service.
—Powell asked if positions are available on the board. Armstead said she also
knows an alumnus interested in serving. Taylor asked that the names of
potential members be sent to her by May 17.
—Morris stated that is necessary to respond to Waldron or
Taylor about meeting requests and board actions by the requested
deadline. Please be mindful that RSVPs are requested for refreshments and
materials. Armstead requested an Outlook invite versus an email. Taylor will do
this, but will still send emails as some prefer that method.
—Morris will work on “Characteristics of Successful Board Members” for the May
Morris also requested ideas from the membership for an appreciation gift for
President Gora. She is aware that the president’s calendar is full, but will
invite the Dr. Gora to the next meeting and present the item at that time. Suggestions focused on art as that is an interest of the
president’s. Suggestions included art celebrating Indiana Black History – maybe
a statue of Madame CJ Walker, pottery, or art by a renowned black artist. Williams
offered to work on a framed photo collage to commemorate the president's ten years on
Next meeting and Adjournment
The next meeting is June 21 at the Ball State University Alumni Center Board
Room at 10:00 a.m. EST. (note: this is a change from the original schedule). Morris will invite President Gora. The meeting
adjourned for pizza at 12:25 p.m.
Black Alumni Constituent Society Board of Directors Meeting
November 8, 2013
Members Present: Phil Anderson, Mike Chisley, Jarod Crowley, Pam
Morris, Carl Radford, Sue Taylor, and Laura Waldron. Guest: Julie Stroh.
Present via phone: Fred Cox, Teresa Jeter, and Allen
Call to Order
President Pam Morris called the meeting to order at 10:15 a.m. She welcomed Julie
Stroh, associate vice president, alumni programs, who stressed the importance of leadership development and of
constituent society building and recruitment. She emphasized the importance of
active membership, particularly when filling board vacancies. Stroh pointed out that the Strategic Plan has
a goal of 15% alumni undergraduate giving by 2017. The target for FY14 is 12% and we are
currently at 11.5%. Donor retention, as well as acquisition, is key. Stroh also
noted that the Alumni Council is developing its first strategic plan since
2001. Terry King facilitated a workshop to that end and he will do another about
leadership and committee development.
Carl Radford said he was shocked to read that Gora is
leaving and would like to send best regards to
the president from the board. Morris agreed and Stroh noted that President Gora
would appreciate the gesture. The board will discuss this opportunity at the January meeting.
Allen Williams asked for guidance on unique or creative ways to be more proactive or
successful in attempts to raise BACS scholarship funds. Stroh said
the key is a strong leadership team focused on fundraising. When the board has
a consistent record of annual giving – e.g., this is what we’re doing, we invite you
to do it too – it encourages others to give. She noted that at Miami, personal
outreach from leadership was part of the process. She added that having a cause supported by
all also helps – the society has this with two scholarships and an operating/awards
Phil Anderson asked if a directory purchase will count as a
Ball State donation. Stroh stated that a royalty comes back to the university
as a gift. Gifts and advertising revenue will come back to the Alumni Association
for programs - similarly to license plate (Legacy Scholarships – 100% funded by
license plate fees).
The minutes from the June 8, 2013 meeting were unanimously
approved after Radford’s move for acceptance and Jarod Crowley’s second.
Mike Chisley reported on September 7, 2013 Alumni Council meeting. He
noted that a Homecoming representative spoke to the council about Homecoming
festivities. John Fallon, associate vice
president for economic development and community engagement spoke about the university's push for economic and community development and
noted that there is a strong focus on outreach and community involvement. He mentioned that Ball State needs to increase the number of faculty who live in Muncie and will be more involved with community.
Radford agreed that community involvement is key, and asked if Ball State faculty were involved in recent discussions regarding the school
transportation referendum. He added concerns
about Ball State’s involvement with the charter school system and questioned where the forum to raise these concerns was. Radford noted the pressure on organizations to raise money, and asked how groups can question the barriers
up to that ability? Is university senate the appropriate venue? Morris noted that many of the other alumni
societies may have a process as they are aligned with academic colleges.
Chisley suggested bringing issues up to Alumni Council.
Discussion about various audiences and communities inspired
Chisley to ask the board of directors to consider the following: what is the
value of the BACS to the university? Who determines this
value? Chisley believes the group should reinvent itself every 3-5 years and
not remain static. What was done in 1985 may not be applicable to 2015 and 2020
– that’s every organization, not just BACS. At the council meeting there were small group sessions and strategic planning. At that point, he noticed a strong need for cultural diversity, which can mean lot of
different things to individuals.
Morris suggested that the board should define
inclusion and cultural diversity as much broader than race/ethnicity and
espouse it to others, to make it a conversation with senior administrators on
campus. Morris added that people need to feel valued and well received to
remain on campus. Williams noted that in
regards to inclusion and cultural diversity, the BACS should be
present at more than black alumni/student activities. Members should have a
presence at a wide variety of university events. Campus participation and
visibility will increase the value of BACS. Morris asked Williams to work on a
broader list of university events that the membership can attend. She then tabled
the discussion due to time and said that discussion will be continued and on
the agenda for the next BACS meeting.
Chisley suggested that the BACS look at direction of council
and Ball State and legitimately look at how BACS can raise funds for the group
and the university, as well as develop an outreach program. He reminded the
board that they have talked about outreach to students for at least 20 years and
the board needs to be more proactive. Morris agreed and added that outreach
needs to begin with freshmen. Students should be cultivated early to help them
understand inclusion and philanthropy. Discussion on student
engagement was tabled until the January meeting due to time constraints.
Chisley closed by resigning as the Alumni Council
representative. He said that he had enjoyed the experience, but would like to
focus on raising funds for a grant/scholarship given in his name for the
Indianapolis Alliance of Black School Educators. He requested that the board
appoint an assertive voice to the council, one who understands the board’s
history. There was discussion that Tammy Butler Robinson had been selected as
the representative in the event Chisley stepped down. Chisley nominated Radford
in the event that Butler Robinson was no longer interested, but Radford did not
accept the nomination. Radford suggested
that the board’s history be captured in writing. Williams asked that it also be
included as part of new member orientation, along with information about
membership expectations. Morris refers to the commitment form and the
constitution as the two documents she will share with potential members in
order to gauge their interest.
Phil Anderson decided not to renew his term expiring on December 31. Everyone expressed thanks to Anderson. He has been a member of the alumni society for 15 years. Morris will plan a recognition for his contributions. Obie LeFlore also submitted his resignation. After much discussion, the following new members were separately
and unanimously approved for membership terms expiring in 2016: Dori Armstead,
’95 (BACS member from 2006-11); Nikkia Jones, ’11; Jason Riley, ’02; and Allen
Williams, ’73. Williams had been serving in an ex-officio capacity.
Morris noted that the society’s faculty rep, Dr. Payne,
retired on June 30. Charlene Alexander serves in Payne’s former position and
Morris will ask her to serve as faculty representative starting in January.
Morris will also ask director of the Multicultural Center, Ro-Anne Royer Engle,
to serve as ex-officio. Taylor noted
that any faculty can be invited to serve as an ex-officio member per the by-laws. Williams noted that Royer Engle wants to be
very proactive in connecting alumni with undergraduates and would be a great
Morris reminded the board that alumni society constituent groups are leaders
and role models and that board members should be the first to make gifts before
they ask others to invest in scholarships and the university. She noted that a $100
annual pledge is less than $10 a month. She
asked the board their thoughts on a minimum annual gift. Radford and Anderson both agreed that a
minimum expectation is beneficial.
Radford added that a $250 annual gift is only about $20 per month.
It was also noted that alumni status in Black Greek organizations is a much higher
There was much
discussion on the benefits of a $100 or $250 minimum, including the possibility of discouraging prospective board members, to limit donors who have more giving potential, and
the perception that this would be viewed as membership dues. Most agreed that $250 would be a fair minimum, and that gifts would be designated to any or all of the BACS
funds. Teresa Jeter asked what the time frame would be for the receipt of the
gift. She noted that the earlier in the year that monies came in, more could be
given in scholarships. Ultimately, the
board decided to give members a full calendar year to fill the minimum
commitment. It was noted that new members must have made a gift prior to
joining the board of directors. The motion for approval was made by Radford with a second from Anderson.
Prior to the vote, Chisley questioned the repercussions of not
fulfilling the minimum requirement, for one reason or another. Morris said she
will make phone calls to inactive members as she has done in the past. Radford
noted that if the gift was not met in the current year then membership should
not be renewed. Williams asked if other alumni societies were specifying a
minimum annual gift. If the university
is leaving gift amounts to the discretion of alumni, then the board should as
well. Taylor stated that Stroh has
suggested a minimum expectation, but there is not a plan in place to enforce it at this time. Radford’s motion on the floor requiring a minimum $250 gift
by the end of the calendar year was seconded by Phil. The motion carried unanimously.
Chisley voiced disappointment that so many from the board did not attend the August reunion. Williams
and Morris agreed, saying that it was possible some members did not understand
that attendance was a responsibility/requirement. Radford does not like setting low standards
and suggested that event participation be made an expectation to all,
particularly incoming members. Morris noted that the board has floundered with
setting expectations and follow through.
Black Student Experience
Williams noted that he is still working with John Straw in Bracken Library on
chronicling the black student experience. Straw is creating video transcripts
and digitizing photos, publications, etc. to move to more accessible technology.
The history department has begun taking on oral history portion – starting with Dr. Myland Brown at Homecoming weekend. Bob Coatie and Hollis Hughes will
be spoken to next. The university seems very interested and supportive of this
project. Williams asks the board to look through their personal files for photos,
documentation, etc. to be archived.
The meeting adjourned at 12:25 p.m. to work on the year-end fundraising mailer.
The next meeting will be held in the Alumni Center on January 25, 2014 at 10:00
Respectfully submitted, Laura Waldron
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