Apr. 5, 2022 – Held via Zoom
Meeting started at 6:39 pm.
Approximately 22 alumni participated.
Robert Tan (CUAA President) opened the meeting.
Anna Brook (CUAA Secretary) presented the February 15, 2022 Meeting Minutes. Edits were addressed and incorporated. The February 15, 2022 Meeting Minutes were approved by general consent.
Shannon Pultz (Communications Committee Chair) reported that the April Newsletter was sent out today. The Communications Committee has a small working group looking at cleaning up the website. The Peter Cooper Doodle project is ongoing to potentially be used for graduation.
Mariam Cantelmi (Annual Fund Committee Chair) reported that Cooper Union raised over $8 million to date, including the matching gift from George Reeves and his wife. The next fundraising push is for the end of the fiscal year. Mariam asked council members who are interested in personal outreach to alumni to volunteer to reach out. Hope Wade volunteered. Robert Tan reiterated that he asks every council member to sign a fundraising letter to their class, and to the year before and after them. Mariam and Yvette Francis (Membership Committee Chair) will put together the lists and the letters.
Claudia Giordano (VP Faculty/Student Liaison) thanked the alumni who are serving on the Faculty/Student Liaison Committee and the students who are interacting with the CUAA. The Architecture School is working on selecting a Dean for the school. The committee is working on mentoring partnerships and a proposed career day. Claudia reported there will be a Back to Cooper event at the end of August. Lou Manzione reported that the Engineering school has seven new faculty members. Lou highlighted partnerships with donors and bioengineering organizations throughout NYC. Lou reported that Laura Sparks was elected to be chair of the Commission on Independent Colleges & Universities. Claudia Giordano mentioned potential collaboration with Maroon & Gold. Sim Blaustein explained that Maroon & Gold encourages student entrepreneurs and provides grant funding to teams. Mary Lynch reported that alumni are welcome to attend Engineering school project presentations that are open to alumni from different disciplines.
Sim Blaustein (Elections Committee Chair) said Meet the Candidates Night will take place on Thursday, April 7 on Zoom. The night will feature the five candidates for contested positions. Sim reported ballots went out to everyone who registered on the CUAA website and was verified as an alumnus. Sim said he would send out an email to those alumni who asked for a ballot but did not register via the website encouraging them to officially register via the website. Mary Lynch asked if there is communication with current seniors, and Sim said he will reach out to the school to communicate with seniors.
Ron Vogel (Treasurer) presented the proposed budget for 2022-2023. Ron explained that due to the pandemic, CUAA’s requests and actual spend for the previous two years were quite modest. Next year, with the expectation of more in-person events that would result in more expenses, the proposed budget is higher. Additional items include membership and fundraising expenses such as graduating class gifts. Sim Blaustein asked if there is a specification for the website redesign. Robert Tan said that there is no specification yet. Margaret Matz requested that input be solicited from committee chairs to determine their respective needs in advance of submitting the budget to Cooper Union. Laura Spinner suggested there may be some increase in the budget for the Awards Dinner if the event becomes live. Barry Drogin asked to clarify that the fundraising budget would be for fundraising for Cooper Union, not CUAA separately. Robert Tan confirmed it is for Cooper Union.
Ron Vogel updated Council that there has been no response from the IRS yet regarding the 501(c)3 application.
Robert Tan reported that Sim Blaustein cleaned up the email addresses in the Elections list, and that Anna Brook will clean up the list from the website. Once the clean up is done, the list will be compared with Cooper Union’s alumni list by a third-party vendor to determine the amount of overlap.
Robert Tan said there is discussion to rename the Annual Fund Committee to another name, such as Cooper Fund. The CUAA is looking for feedback from the school regarding the proposed change.
Robert said there would be a May meeting to announce election results. He reminded committee chairs about upcoming end of year reports. Mary Lynch suggested that the Electric Car team might be able to come in to present at that meeting. Sim Blaustein proposed a social event during or after the next meeting, such as a happy hour or other less formal format.
Mariam Cantelmi brought up that OoAA was asking for alumni volunteers to help at Commencement. OoAA also asked for information about alumni who were directly affected by the war in Ukraine. Robert Tan reported that Commencement will be in-person for all three schools. He said that CUAA will be giving out Cooper Union box kites to graduates at the same time as they receive their diplomas. CUAA will also have a table to meet alumni / graduates and give out / get contact information. Mariam also said that OoAA will be looking for class anchors.
Robert Tan turned to the By Laws. Barry Drogin (Constitution Committee Chair) presented remaining proposed edits to the By Laws.
II.F – language regarding the executive session was discussed – whether executive session should be for matters of privilege, or permitted for broader issues as necessary. Barry Drogin suggested that the Executive Session will be “and other confidential matters as ruled by the Chair.” Robert Tan said that it can be clarified that “If there are any minutes…” instead of “any minutes.” Sec. II.F with the proposed edits was approved by general consent.
VII.A – the Nominating Committee composition change from the past two presidents to the one most recent past president was addressed. Robert Tan said the change is proposed to reflect that the second past president historically has not actively participated in the Nominating Committee and that the immediate past President is active in only the first year. “The Nominating Committee shall consist of 10 members, nominated and elected as prescribed in Item B of this Section, and the most recent past president in the first year after their term as President ends.” Margaret Matz said she believes the past President’s tenure on the Nominating Committee should be two years. Mary Lynch noted that a past President can run for the Nominating Committee in any year after the first one where they are an automatic member. It was clarified that Margaret Matz would be on the Nominating Committee next year. Sec. VII.A with the proposed edits was approved by general consent.
Anna Brook moved to adjourn. Robert Tan seconded the motion. The meeting adjourned at 8:07 pm.