SOMAA Update (November 2016)

November 1st, 2016

To all SOM Alumni:

Since our last update in September, the SOMAA Board has continued to work toward a new structure that is better suited to represent the needs and interests of our growing global alumni community. This new structure will include more direct involvement with both the Dean’s Office and other key SOM departments. Our present efforts are focused on creating a new charter that articulates how we will execute our mission and responsibilities as the Board becomes a smaller and more collaborative body. The purpose of this update is to fill you in on our progress and to ask for reactions.

Based on Board members’ recommendations, I selected a Charter Committee of five members to create a draft charter and select a new name for the transformed organization. Their initial draft will be presented and discussed by the Board at the November meeting. The charter will follow the model used by other advisory groups created for SOM.  

Initial work by the Charter Committee suggests two main goals for the new organization: to advance the values and mission of Yale SOM through sustained involvement and dialogue with the leaders and senior staff of the School; and to drive greater alumni engagement with SOM.  

As currently envisioned, the Charter will specify a membership of 15 alumni to be elected in classes of 5 members each with three-year terms, representing the diverse geography, class years, granted degrees and backgrounds of the alumni base. Achieving such a design could take two to three years as current board members complete their terms. Possible responsibilities expected of the current and new members might include: developing small groups dedicated to working closely with staff departments; promoting SOM and its programs to applicants, employers and others; representing SOM in Yale-wide alumni meetings and events; and providing a voice for alumni concerns to the Dean and SOM administration on the full range of issues and topics affecting alumni.  

Coming out of the Board discussion during our mid-November meeting, we expect to have agreement on the key elements for Charter content, a proposed name for the newly chartered organization, and a plan to complete the definition of governing processes necessary to enable the advisory group to operate effectively in the years to come. We strongly believe that this transformation will benefit alumni and establish greater opportunities to work directly with SOM. We encourage your comments, questions and feedback on these changes now and as we begin to implement them in the next several months. Please send us an email at We’ll keep you informed as we continue the transition.

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