SOMAA Board Updates and Announcement

September 2nd, 2016

To Alumni of Yale SOM:

Over the last two years, the SOMAA Board has undertaken a self-examination and benchmarking process to identify better ways to serve the SOM alumni community and partner with Yale SOM to support the school’s founding mission to educate leaders for business and society.  Following SOMAA’s Annual Meeting in April 2016, the Board determined that it could better represent the needs and interests of our growing global alumni community by developing a new structure which will have more direct Board and alumni involvement with both the Dean’s Office and other key SOM departments.

To begin this change in structure, the Board voted on September 2, 2016 to dissolve SOMAA’s 501(c)3 IRS status, and start creating a new charter and structure -- the name for this new alumni leadership group is still to be determined.  All current Board members will be included in this process, and each member will be able to complete their term of service.  By removing the 501(c)3 designation, the Board is following the lead of other Yale graduate and professional school alumni associations and most peer management schools with alumni associations – information that was uncovered during the prior benchmarking and review efforts.

SOMAA has not engaged in dues-collecting or fundraising for many years; however, the old structure required annual IRS tax filings. In addition, the structure required SOMAA’s Board members to bear personal liability for actions by SOMAA, placing all members in a potentially difficult situation. The Board’s vote eliminates an outdated and cumbersome legal structure.

The charter development process is now underway. Our goals include an enhanced advisory function for the Board and greater collaboration between the alumni community and various SOM administrative units such as Admissions, the CDO, and Alumni Relations. The Board will also work closely with the Dean’s Office to offer advice on strategic issues regarding the school. The new charter will define standard operating procedures for the Board and specify a nomination and election process for new Board members.

It is a privilege and an honor to work on behalf of our fellow SOM alumni to encourage connections among alumni and forge greater engagement with the school.  We believe the result of the charter development process will be more benefits to alumni and greater opportunities to work directly with SOM. We welcome and encourage your comments and feedback on these changes now and as the new charter is developed. Please send us an email at som.alumniadvisoryboard@yale.edu. We’ll keep you informed as we continue this transition.

With best regards,
Suzanne Francis '80
President, SOMAA Board