A Passing of the Baton
February 2, 2013 § 5 Comments
I type this post with a profound sadness because, after a year and a half, it will prematurely be my last, but yet with a deep sense of pride in what was accomplished by the SU National Alumni Board during my term as its President.
On Tuesday, January 29th, in a letter to Chancellor Cantor and Board of Trustees Chair Dick Thompson, I resigned as SUAA President and as a member of the SU Board of Trustees. For those of you who know me, it was a difficult, if not painful, decision, but a necessary one. Without going into details, I resigned because I felt as if the decision not to invite a member of the National Alumni Board (not I, as I would have declined because of my other commitments) to serve on the New Chancellor Search Committee, and the failure to include the Board in the development of the Post-Campaign Plan for Regional Councils, with which our efforts are closely intertwined, or to even provide us with notice of such plans, were simply unacceptable. I know that those who made the decisions had their reasons, and I respect them; I just could not disagree more. I always promised myself that when a volunteer leadership position like this became more frustrating than fun and rewarding, it would be time to move on. Now is that time.
I am humbled by the overwhelmingly positive responses I have received thus far from so many people. As they say, it’s times like these when you realize who are your real friends.
Perhaps my resignation will stimulate a healthy discussion of the future and role of the National Alumni Board as representatives of the alumni community. Much progress has been made. With University staff oversight, the Board revised its by-laws and became smaller, yet made sure it remained diverse and representative of the entire alumni body. It took the lead on instilling a culture of philanthropy and adopted a Strategic Plan for Alumni Philanthropy that has been well-received and is being implemented. It coordinated its efforts with Generation Orange to make sure that our youngest alumni remain connected with SU and to serve as a platform for future engagement. It screened and recommended worthy recipients for the Arents Award, Eggers Award and Orange Circle Award. It achieved its goal to connect with numerous other constituencies both on and off campus. And, most importantly, it met its challenge to become the second most important Board at SU besides the Board of Trustees. I am proud of the Board for all of its efforts, and will miss working so closely with its members and OAR staff.
Now it is the time to look forward. I could not think of a more qualified person than Laurie Taishoff to take the reigns of the Board as it continues on its mission. I have had a chance to see Laurie develop into a true leader, and I am confident that she will do an outstanding job. As I have assured her, despite my resignation, I still love SU and will be available to provide her with assistance as she faces and tackles the challenges ahead. I also know that the other officers, committee chairs and members will fully support Laurie in her efforts.
I also want to thank the entire SU community, including the faithful followers and guest writers of this blog. It has been an honor to serve as Alumni President and to provide you with my “News & Views” on a monthly basis. I will cherish the memories of what I consider to be the experience of a lifetime.
And, for the last time, Go Orange!