Meeting, September 18, 2008

New Mexico Tech Alumni Association
Board of Directors Meeting
September 18, 2008

Directors Present: Geza Keller, Louise Chamberlin, Steve Dixon, Linda Gonzales, Tom Dillon, Richard Miller, Karla Moore, Brett Wendt

Staff Present: Dr. Ricardo Maestas, Vice President, Student and University Relations; Carol Lynn Tiegs, Assistant Director for Advancement; Kathy Hedges, Public Information Office

Update on Assistant Director for Advancement Position

  • Dr. Maestas reported that a search began as soon as Carol Lynn’s resignation was received. As required, the position has been posted internally with no resulting candidates. It will now be posted externally.
  • Carol Lynn will be available as a consultant for 49ers and to do training once a candidate is hired. Other possibilities include an internal staff member serving as a temporary fill-in, or doing an emergency hire.
  • Geza suggested the title of Director of Alumni Association as more accurately reflecting the scope of Carol Lynn’s position. Dr. Maestas said that, technically, Tech can’t have directors reporting to directors. With the president’s approval, he said, this could be readjusted. Dr. Maestas’ preference would be to move the Director for Advancement to a vice president or associate vice president position with a higher salary. However, the state is preparing for tight budgets over the next several years. Accordingly, Dr. Maestas suggests sitting tight to see how the economy plays out, rather than asking now and being turned down.
  • Some of the future depends on the success of alumni fundraising.
  • “We see Carol Lynn’s position as Alumni Association COO,” Brett said, “as someone who can put our discussion into an action plan and move it forward.
  • “Carol Lynn’s position will absolutely be filled,” Dr. Maestas said. “The issue is the unknown applicant pool. I am willing, as is Cheryl, to cancel and restart the search if we can’t get the right person on this search.”

Update on ISD/Website Development

  • Dr. Maestas chairs the university’s website development committee.
  • The committee spoke with external web development firms. Based on cost and the desire not to have a cookie-cutter design, it has contracted internally with Dr. Clint Lanier, a new faculty member with extensive industry and academic website development experience. Dr. Lanier will work with a team of Tech students on site development.
  • The committee has developed a mission statement and goals, and developed a list of key stakeholders – including alumni – with related purposes.
  • The committee expects to have three mainpage prototypes to review, with selection and testing to be done by the end of winter semester.
  • The issue for alumni is that the current alumni database (RaisersEdge) doesn’t talk with the Banner software system used by the university. Cost estimates for converting to Banner include $60,000 for software and $150,000 for implementation and training. Banner would meet the alumni desire for online giving and alumni communication.
  • Geza indicated that the Alumni Association board has discussed alumni fundraising for an alumni site that links to the Tech site as it is clear that alumni want a social network.
  • Brett reported on the IT Committee started by the Association board, and said the board would like to be able to do board and committee business in a secure place online, and to have a quick, inexpensive way to communicate with alumni.
  • Dr. Maestas indicated that members of the IT Committee could participate via conference call in upcoming website development committee meetings. The desire, he said is to migrate all internal systems to Banner so they can integrate with each other. Dr. Lanier is to solicit information from key stakeholders on their needs.
  • Dr. Maestas said Tech is moving toward a wireless campus. He outlined barriers to a campus listserve due to the competing interests of the university’s Tech Computing Center (TCC) and ISD departments. A new webmaster position will focus on technical skills, using Public Information and Advancement staff for graphics and content. Dr. Lanier recommends using the free, open source software system Joomla for the website. Dr. Iver Davidson in Distance Learning has used this successfully, as have several large university systems.

Other Business

    * Kathy Hedges asked for suggestions for grand marshal for the 49ers Parade. On a motion by Geza, seconded by Steve, the board nominated Warren Marts (’90) and Dr. Eileen Comstock (’88, ’92) as grand marshals. [Subsequently, Warren and Eileen declined, because of other commitments. Other grand marshalls are being sought.]

There will be no board meeting in October. The Annual General Meeting is scheduled for Saturday, October 26. The next meeting of the board of directors will be Thursday, November 20.