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AAVC Board Positions and Requirements

AAVC is governed by a board of directors, nominated by an independent nominating committee. The goal is to compose a board of directors, which represents the entire Vassar constituency (i.e., representation by decade, gender, race, and geographical location). Professional expertise, volunteer experience, service to Vassar, and current knowledge of Vassar are important criteria for nominees.

Board Requirements

Position Descriptions

Board Requirements

How Positions Are Filled

AAVC Board members are nominated by the AAVC Nominating Committee and elected by the alumnae/i body at the Annual Meeting of Alumnae/i held during Reunion weekend. Any alumna/us may recommend herself/himself or someone else for consideration. Independent nominations may also be made by a petition signed by the nominee, and at least 50 members of the AAVC, representing at least 10 classes and 5 states. Any such petition should be filed with the Executive Director of the AAVC within 30 days after the slate of nominations has been published by the Nominating Committee.

Nominating Committee members develop a broad base of prospective candidates and review all recommendations, as part of their process of identifying alumnae/i with the experiences and skills that best match those needed for open board and committee positions. Professional expertise, volunteer experience, service to Vassar, and current engagement with the college are important criteria for nomination. The Nominating Committee also considers race and ethnicity, gender, sexual identity, geography, and other factors in helping to construct a board that reflects the talents and diversity of Vassar alumnae/i.

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General Requirements

All AAVC Board positions require a high degree of motivation to serve Vassar College and work with other alumnae/i in doing so. They also require a knowledge of, and sensitivity to, alumnae/i needs and concerns; strong project management and communication skills; the ability to think strategically and creatively; and versatility. AAVC Board members are expected to commit a significant amount of time to their respective roles on the board and committees of the board. As key public representatives of the AAVC, board members should also be active participants in alumnae/i events and programs.

Board Meetings and Reunion Weekend:

The AAVC Board meets at the college three times a year, in October, February, and June. Attendance is required at these meetings, which are generally held from Friday evening until Sunday morning.

Reunion Weekend coincides with the June AAVC Board meeting. Board members are expected to attend and participate in Reunion events and programs.

Committee Meetings:

Much of the work of the AAVC Board is done through committees, which meet throughout the year, either telephonically or in person. Committees of the board also meet at the time of board meetings in October, February, and June.

Commitment:

AAVC Board members are expected to fully participate on the board and on committees of the board, which requires an extensive commitment of time and expertise.

Expenses:

So as to encourage all alumnae/i, regardless of financial circumstance, to participate, travel expenses associated with AAVC Board meetings may be reimbursed up to $500 per trip.

Vassar Fund Commitment:

All AAVC Board members are expected to support the Vassar Fund. While the amount of a board member’s gift is entirely discretionary, 100 percent participation by the board is extremely important.

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Position Descriptions

AAVC President and AAVC Trustee

The President of the AAVC is the chief elected officer and chair of the AAVC Board. In this capacity, the President serves as an AAVC Trustee, and also serves on the Executive Committee of the Vassar College Board of Trustees. The President provides strategic leadership for the AAVC, including in policy making and in establishing goals and directions. The President also serves as the key liaison between the AAVC and Vassar College.

In addition to presiding at all meetings of the AAVC Board, the President serves ex officio on all board committees and any ad hoc committees established for specific purposes. The President also presides at the Annual Meeting of the AAVC in June.

In fulfilling his/her role, the President is assisted by the Vice Presidents for Operations and for Strategic Planning of the AAVC Board, and by the Executive Director of the AAVC.

The roles and functions of the President are varied and complex, and require a great deal of leadership and organizational skill in managing relationships, negotiating sensitive issues, setting strategic goals, and being the key public representative of Vassar’s 39,000 alumnae/i. The President should be a seasoned volunteer with broad leadership and management experience, and an enthusiastic and demonstrated commitment to the college.

Term of Office: Four years.

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AAVC Vice President for Operations

The Vice President for Operations oversees the governance and bylaws of the AAVC Board of Directors, the orientation process for new directors, and the presentation of alumnae/i awards. The Vice President also serves as the primary liaison to the chairs of several board committees. Currently, those committees include the Nominating Committee, the Alumnae/i Recognition Committee, the Alumnae House Committee, and the Vassar Fund Council. The Vice President for Operations shall exercise the powers and perform the duties of the President of the AAVC Board, in the event of the absence or incapacity of the President.

The Vice President for Operations should be a seasoned volunteer with expertise in organizational and governance matters and a demonstrated commitment to the college.

Term of Office: Four years.

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AAVC Vice President for Strategic Planning

The Vice President for Strategic Planning oversees the strategic planning process of the AAVC, and the progress with respect to its current strategic plan. The Vice President also serves as the primary liaison to the chairs of several board committees. Currently, those committees include the Career Networking Committee, the Clubs and Regional Networks Committee, and the Communications Advisory Committee. The Vice President for Strategic Planning shall exercise the powers and perform the duties of the President of the AAVC Board, in the event of the absence or incapacity of the President and the Vice President of Operations.

The Vice President for Strategic Planning should be a seasoned volunteer with expertise in strategic planning, and a demonstrated commitment to the college.

Term of Office: Four years.

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AAVC Trustee

AAVC Trustees serve as liaisons between the AAVC and the college, and serve on the AAVC Board of Directors as well as on the Board of Trustees of Vassar College. Pursuant to the AAVC Bylaws, six individuals serve as AAVC Trustees, with one of those positions being occupied by the President of the AAVC.

AAVC Trustees are expected to attend and participate in meetings of the AAVC Board and the Board of Trustees. They are also expected to participate in committees on both boards. In their dual roles, AAVC Trustees are uniquely positioned to represent issues and concerns of the alumnae/i body on the Trustee Board, as well as to inform the AAVC Board of matters of import at the college. This dual role requires a great deal of sensitivity and awareness of responsibilities and confidentiality.

AAVC Trustees should have a demonstrated commitment and history of engagement with the AAVC and the college, and should be mindful of the significant commitment of time and effort required by this position.

Term of Office: Four years.

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Alumnae House Committee Chair

The Alumnae House Committee helps to ensure that Alumnae House remains a vibrant and relevant institution serving the current needs of the students and alumnae/i of the Vassar community, while bearing in mind the historical significance of Alumnae House. The Alumnae House Committee Chair works with the Committee of appointed AAVC Board members and other experienced alumnae/i to fulfill this mission. The Committee provides strategic guidance in developing and implementing a vision and plans for actively and creatively engaging alumnae/i and current students with Alumnae House.

The Chair of the House Committee should be a dedicated volunteer familiar with Alumnae House. The Committee is staffed by the Alumnae House Manager.

Term of Office: Four years.

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Alumnae/i Recognition Committee Chair

The Alumnae/i Recognition Committee proposes distinguished members of the alumnae/i population for recognition with designated alumnae/i awards. The Alumnae/i Recognition Committee Chair works with the Committee of appointed AAVC Board members and alumnae/i active in the alumnae/i community. The Committee is also charged with reviewing existing alumnae/i recognition awards and developing additional awards and programs that would enhance the recognition and engagement of distinguished alumnae/i of the college.

The Alumnae/i Recognition Committee Chair should be a dedicated volunteer, active in alumnae/i affairs. The Committee is staffed by the Associate Vice President for Alumnae/i Engagement and Executive Director of the AAVC. The Committee also works with the Office of Alumnae/i Affairs and Development to maintain and update the Alumnae/i Recognition Committee database.

Term of Office: Three years.

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Career Networking Committee Chair

The Career Networking Committee provides strategic guidance in partnership with the Alumnae/i Engagement and Career Development Offices to broaden and strengthen career and professional networks among alumnae/i. The Career Networking Committee Chair works with the Committee of appointed AAVC Board members and other key alumnae/i active in supporting these efforts. The Committee also advises the college on its career-related services, including recruitment initiatives for students, career support for alumnae/i, and professional networking events.

The Career Networking Committee Chair should have a strong interest and experience in developing professional networks. The staff liaisons for the Committee are the Senior Director of Alumnae/i Engagement and the Director of the Career Development Office.

Term of Office: Three years.

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Clubs and Regional Networks Committee Chair

The Clubs and Regional Networks Committee works with the Office of Alumnae/i Affairs and Development to develop and implement strategies to engage alumnae/i in their communities around the world. To foster a continued bond with the college, the Committee aims to ensure thriving activities—cultural, social, and professional—in regions where alumnae/i are most represented.

The Chair works with the Committee of appointed AAVC Board members and leaders of clubs and regional networks. The Committee ensures that each region has diverse, creative, and high-quality programming. The Chair should have demonstrated leadership experience with an alumnae/i club or regional network. 

The Clubs and Regional Networks Committee is staffed by the Senior Director of Alumnae/i Engagement. Connections with international clubs and affiliate groups are represented by the Associate Vice President for Regional and International Programs.

Term of Office: Three years.

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Communications Advisory Committee Chair

The Communications Advisory Committee serves as a resource for the Alumnae/i Communications staff, as it develops and implements communications and marketing strategies aimed at its constituent audiences. The Communications Advisory Committee Chair works with the small Committee of appointed AAVC Board members and other experienced alumnae/i to assist with communication strategies for the alumnae/i population and the college community. These communications are effected through print and digital media, including Vassar magazine, the alumnae/i website, and social media.

The Communications Advisory Committee Chair should be an experienced communications, marketing, or public relations professional. The Committee is staffed by the Director of Alumnae/i Communications.

Term of Office: Four years.

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Vassar Fund Council Chair

The Vassar Fund Council serves in an advisory capacity to the Vassar Fund Office, which is an important arm of the Vassar College Office of Alumnae/i Affairs and Development. The Vassar Fund Council Chair works with a committee of appointed AAVC Board members and alumnae/i who serve in development leadership capacities on behalf of the college. The Vassar Fund Council works with the Vassar Fund Office to advise on the development and implementation of strategies to encourage and enhance contributions to the college. This culminates with the announcement of reunion gift totals at the AAVC Annual Meeting at Reunion Weekend every June. The Vassar Fund Council Chair is also an ex officio member of the Development Committee of the Vassar College Board of Trustees.

The Vassar Fund Council Chair should have extensive experience in working for the college as a Fund volunteer. The Council is staffed by the Director of the Vassar Fund.

Term of Office: Four years.

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Nominating Committee Chair

The Nominating Committee is responsible for researching, selecting, and nominating alumnae/i for leadership roles in the AAVC. The Nominating Committee Chair works with the Committee of elected AAVC Board members to fulfill this task. The Nominating Committee works closely with staff of the Office of Alumnae/i Affairs and Development and alumnae/i leaders to identify potential candidates; update biographical data and maintain a current database; research prospective candidates; evaluate and select candidates; and formally nominate alumnae/i who have been selected and who have agreed to serve.

The Nominating Committee is also responsible for proposing non-board members for certain committees of the AAVC Board, as requested from time to time by the President and Vice-Presidents of the board. In addition, the Nominating Committee advises the AAVC Board on governance matters.

The Nominating Committee Chair should be a seasoned volunteer with broad experience and a demonstrated commitment to the college and AAVC. The Chair should also have governance expertise and leadership experience on a nonprofit board. The Nominating Committee is staffed by the Associate Vice President for Alumnae/i Engagement and Executive Director of the AAVC.

Term of Office: Four years.

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Nominating Committee Member

The Nominating Committee of the AAVC Board is comprised of the chair and a minimum of four other members, with a current roster of seven members. The committee is responsible for researching, selecting and nominating alumnae/i for leadership roles in the AAVC. The Nominating Committee works closely with staff of the Office of Alumnae/i Affairs and Development and alumnae/i leaders to identify potential candidates; update biographical data and maintain a current database; research prospective candidates; evaluate and select candidates; and formally nominate alumnae/i who have been selected and who have agreed to serve.

The work of the Nominating Committee has a direct impact on the quality, diversity, and breadth of leadership of the AAVC Board and committees of the board. Alumnae/i proposed as members of the Nominating Committee are identified and selected based upon their demonstrated interest in, and knowledge of, the AAVC’s work; their commitment to Vassar; their sound judgment; and their high level of personal responsibility and initiative. The Committee meets in person and telephonically throughout the year, including at the three annual AAVC Board meetings held in Poughkeepsie.

Term of Office: Four years.

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