YAANW Mission and Governance

as adopted by the YAANW Board July 16, 2003

Mission Statement:

The Yale Alumni Association of the Northwest (YAANW) advances the mutual interests of Yale University, its alumni and friends in our region. We accomplish this through recruitment of promising students, and activities promoting education, intellectual inquiry, collegiality and public service.

Who we are:

We are alumni and spouses/partners of students and alumni, and former faculty and staff of Yale college, graduate and professional schools living in Minnesota, western Wisconsin and the Dakotas. We represent a wide range of ages, professions and personal interests.

Goals of the YAANW:

  • Promote and enhance the reputation of Yale University in our region.
  • Provide opportunities for members to stay connected with Yale University.
  • Promote education, intellectual inquiry and collegiality among members.
  • Assist Yale in identifying, attracting, interviewing and matriculating highly qualified applicants.
  • Highlight the contributions of members to the vibrancy of our region.

Officers and their responsibilities

  • President: Ensure overall coordination of all activities. Interface with AYA. Lead initiatives. Develop and distribute meeting agenda and preside at meetings. Work with Treasurer to lead compliance (legal and accounting). Coordinate and appoint Board members to chair projects and to serve on ad hoc Development committee. Work with Scholarship Fund trustees. Maintain YAANW archives. Oversee board succession planning with Nominating Committee. Ensure YAANW’s activities and processes remain in compliance with our mission and goals. Facilitate transfer of duties to successor. Chair Executive Committee, serve on Finance Committee and as an ex-officio member of all committees.
  • Vice President – Programs: Responsible for the identification, timing and staffing of YAANW’s regular programs. Work with Program Committee and other Board members to create, propose and oversee the budget for the annual program series. Develop and implement strategies to accommodate YAANW’s broad constituents and their interests. Work with President to ensure YAANW’s activities remain in compliance with our mission and goals. Facilitate transfer of duties to successor. Chair Program Committee.
  • Vice President – Information Technology and Communications: Responsible for YAANW’s web site and electronic communications infrastructure. Maintain electronic mailing lists. Convey electronic communications to membership (in cooperation with the President and the Secretary.) Facilitate transfer of duties to successor. Serve on Communications Committee.
  • Treasurer: Maintain/oversee books, financial records and YAANW budgets. Distribute financial records to Board members as needed. Receive and disburse monies from programs and events. Ensure attendance lists are sent to Secretary or designee to be logged in database. Coordinate with Secretary to ensure alignment of paid/unpaid membership records. Responsible for legal and accounting compliance. Facilitate transfer of duties to successor. Chair Finance Committee.
  • Secretary: Record minutes of Board meetings. Distribute previous month’s minutes before each board meeting. Responsible for newsletter, “official” membership records (in cooperation with Treasurer) and communications to the membership (in cooperation with the President and the VP-ITC.) Facilitate transfer of duties to successor. Chair Communications Committee.

Role of All Board Members:

Time Expectations:

  • Attend regularly scheduled monthly board meetings.
  • Participate actively in one or more committees of the board.
  • Attend, support and participate in programs.
  • Attend scheduled board retreats, planning meetings, workshops or other special board activities.


  • Fully understand, support and promote the mission of the YAANW.
  • Help develop or implement programs that promote the organization.
  • Monitor YAANW’s financial performance.
  • Represent and serve as an advocate for YAANW.
  • Identify potential new board members.
  • Encourage potential new members to participate in programs and join YAANW.
  • Be a dues paying member of YAANW.
  • Consider donating or assisting in raising funds for specific YAANW projects or programs.
  • Develop and monitor short and long-range planning and goals.
  • Bring personal and professional expertise and that of others to support the mission of YAANW.
  • Avoid any conflict of interest or appearance of a conflict.
  • Observe the confidentiality of YAANW lists and other proprietary information.

Guidelines for Terms of Office:

  • President: 2-year non-renewable term. (Subsequent terms may be served after vacating the office for at least one term.)
  • Vice President Information Technology and Communications, Treasurer and Secretary: 1-year renewable term. Tenure not generally to exceed 5 years.
  • Vice President, Programs: 1-year renewable term. Tenure not generally to exceed 2-3 years.
  • Board members (Maximum of 18): 3-year renewable terms, in 3 classes. 1/3 elected each year.
  • Terms will begin and end with the YAANW’s fiscal year January 1 – December 31. Annual meetings to formally elect Board members and officers will be held in November.

Succession Planning:

Maintain and continue to build YAANW leaders’ experience base. Help develop more predictable pattern of Club leadership;

  • by adhering to office term-limits;
  • selecting candidates for President from those who have served in one or more leadership positions before becoming president;
  • select a President-elect 6-12 months in advance of their taking on the Presidency.

Committee Structure:

Non-Board members are encouraged to participate on the ASC, Event and Program, and Special Purpose Committees in order to broaden member participation, provide a way for alumni to share their expertise and give younger alumni an opportunity to distinguish themselves for later board service.

  • EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE (Officers, most recent Past President if currently on the Board) Conducts the business of the YAANW between meetings. Selects committee chairs which aren’t filled by officers.
  • FINANCE/FUNDS COMMITTEE (President, Treasurer and other members as added by resolution) Oversees all financial aspects of the organization including reports and filings as well as the management, collection, expenditure and safekeeping of funds.
  • ALUMNI SCHOOLS COMMITTEE (3-5 people representing the Twin Cities, outstate Minnesota, western Wisconsin, South Dakota, North Dakota and others as needed.) Identifies, interviews and encourages the matriculation of applicants. Chairs selected by previous chair or Admissions Office. The ASC Committee operates independently of the YAANW but reports results to the Board.
  • EVENT AND PROGRAM COMMITTEE: (Vice President-Programs, Vice President – Information Technology and Communications or designee and members selected by the Executive Committee for ad hoc or on-going programs) Responsible for all programs for members.
  • SPECIAL PURPOSE COMMITTEES FOR COMMUNITY AFFAIRS (Chairs and members selected by the Executive Committee) Coordinates Summer Internships, Book Awards, and other projects.
  • COMMUNICATIONS COMMITTEE (Vice President-Information Technology and Communications, Secretary, Vice President-Programs and other members, as needed, in coordination with the President.) Responsible for all communications to members.
  • NOMINATING COMMITTEE (President, Past Presidents currently on the Board and others as added by resolution of the Board.) Recommends slate of officers and new Board members.
  • SCHOLARSHIP COMMITTEE (Trustees of Scholarship Fund) Oversees the investment and administration of the Yale Alumni Association of the Northwest Scholarship Fund as documented in the Trust Agreement (under separate cover). The ASC Committee operates independently of the YAANW but reports results to the Board.

Structure of Meetings:

  • Materials to be circulated in advance of meetings:President – agenda; Treasurer – financial statements; Secretary – previous meeting minutes; Committee/Event Chair – committee/event reports.
  • Sample Agenda
    • Consent Items (submitted in advance)
    • Adoption of Agenda
    • Adoption of previous meeting minutes
    • Financial Reports
      • Cash balance (provided monthly)
      • Balance Sheet (provided quarterly)
      • Income and expenditure statement (provided quarterly)
    • Committee reports
    • Plans for Future
    • Business/Issues for discussion
    • Adjournment