On Oct. 7, the UConn Foundation announced the addition of three new members to their Board of Directors. According to a report from Claire Galvin of the Daily Campus, the three new members are alumni of the University of Connecticut. Though it is difficult to evaluate the efficacy of new board members, especially since they have only recently been named, this opportunity should be seen as a responsibility, not just to the UConn Foundation, but also to the students.
The director of communication and media relations for the UConn Foundation, Suzanne Morrissey said, in regards to the members of the foundation’s board, “…many of our foundation board of director members are not only dedicated to UConn and the UConn mission, they are also dedicated and passionate in their own fields.”
The UConn Foundation maintains a large and diverse board, with members ranging from UConn basketball legends, Ray Allen and Sue Bird, to an executive vice president of clothing retailer, Nordstrom. Having a board composed of experienced UConn alumni is beneficial for the student body, ensuring those voting on important matters have spent time in Storrs and understand the unique needs of UConn students.
Though it is unlikely that the UConn Foundation would ever consider adding a student member to its Board of Directors, such a move would go a long way toward increasing transparency within the organization. While there is one “Student Foundation Representative” who is a current student, this position is ex officio, which provides little influence on a Board of Directors.
Moving forward, the UConn Foundation should—if a student member is out of question—consider adding recent UConn graduates to the Board of Directors. Though older, more successful alumni add connections and experience to the Board, the addition of a recent graduate would provide a relevant, contemporary student perspective.
The most recent graduate or attendee of the University, according to the information provided by the UConn Foundation website, is Sue Bird. While having a former student-athlete who was a student in Storrs as recently as 2002 is beneficial, much has changed regarding the student experience in the 14 years since her departure for the WNBA.
The UConn Foundation has done a tremendous job assembling a Board of Directors that represents the most successful of the UConn alumni community. Looking ahead, to increase transparency and to maintain as accurate a picture of current student life as possible, the Foundation should seek to add more recent graduates to the board.