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Club Requirements: Frequently Asked Questions


Who selected the Ross alumni club minimum requirements, and how were they selected? 

The minimum requirements were developed across months of research and conversations with former Ross alumni club presidents, Michigan Ross Alumni Board of Governors members, and peer business school alumni club programs. The requirements not only draw from alumni club best practices, but also build upon Michigan Ross’s own historical, though non-standardized, expectations of the school's alumni clubs. They also meet cross-constituent stakeholder expectations of all clubs and groups that represent the Michigan Ross brand across the world.

We understand that our volunteers lead busy lives, and made every effort to keep the new requirements reasonable, and manageable, for clubs of any tier. Many Ross alumni clubs are already fulfilling the minimum club requirements!

The final requirements were thoroughly vetted and approved by the Ross Alumni Board of Governors in late 2017. 


I see that the number of required events is segmented by tier. What tier is my club, and what criteria are club tiers based upon? 

Club tier is based entirely on (a) the size of the Michigan Ross alumni population living and working in a discrete region, or (b) the number of alumni who are interested in a specific affinity.

Please scroll to the bottom of this page for the full list of alumni clubs by tier. 


When is the annual evaluation period for fulfilling the club minimum requirements? 

The period for annually completing your club's minimum requirements runs from July 1 - June 30 (i.e. the academic fiscal year), and will be noted in the Annual Report for that year. 

Ongoing requirements, such as communicating with Ross staff in a timely manner and submitting expense paperwork on time, will be evaluated on an ongoing basis. 

Please don't hesitate to make use of the minimum club requirements checklist to track your club's fulfillment of these requirements.


How much time do I have to implement some of the club structural changes described in the requirements, such recruiting a second club officer, building a succession plan, or integrating term limits? 

Because the minimum requirements are new, current club leaders have the full FY19 fiscal year to integrate structural changes and officer additions or transitions into their club's operations. 

To support you and your leadership teams during these changes, we encourage you to make use of the resources throughout this website, as well the semi-annual club president group phone calls and meetings, volunteer leadership educational webinars, and event and club charter templates that the Alumni Relations office will continue to provide throughout the year.


What should I do if my club isn't currently meeting the new minimum requirements? 

One of our primary goals in rolling out formalized requirements is to empower the Ross alumni clubs to succeed by focusing on several best practices that should help to prevent burnout and most align your club with Michigan Ross's vision for the club program -- not to chastise or in any way make our volunteers' lives difficult. 

So whether your work schedule is keeping you too busy to plan the necessary number of club events or you're having trouble identifying event speakers or club volunteers, reach out to the Ross Office of Alumni Engagement! We are here to support you through any challenges you or your club may be experiencing, and can provide conversations and resources to help you get your club where it needs to be. 

Many of the requirements, such as having at least two leadership team members at all times, will also ultimately make most volunteer tasks much easier for club presidents to fulfill.


I have been club president for many years and love doing it! I see that Ross places term limits on club presidencies, but I would like to remain in my role beyond that time. 

We have put term limits in place for a number of reasons that are summarized well on our Succession Planning webpage (credit Branton Cole, Denver Club). Those reasons include: 

Giving more than a limited group of alumni the chance to assume the leading role within a club;

Preventing alumni club leader burnout (a real phenomenon!);

Regularly injecting new blood, ideas and energy into the board; 

Building positive optics for the broader regional alumni base of a dynamic alumni club with leadership opportunities that are accessible to all. 

Please note that presidents can serve up to two terms of office, either consecutively or non-consecutively, for a total presidency of six years.

While the Alumni Relations Office has set individual club term limits to three years at most, each club can devise a term limits system that best fits its leadership team and culture. A number of clubs are beginning to establish 2 - 3 year terms for specific roles on their board, some with a year of training/transition for the incoming/outgoing officers.

If you would like to continue your service on the Michigan Ross alumni beyond the set term limits, please connect with the Michigan Ross Alumni Relations team to discuss.

Note - Current club presidents who have been in your role for 6+ years as of June 30, 2018We are very grateful for the ongoing time and talent that you are giving in service of your local alumni club, and want to ensure that your volunteerism with Ross remains a fun, enjoyable experience for you and your leadership team while keeping the new requirements in mind. The Ross clubs liaison will connect with you to explore how to navigate this requirement over the coming year. 


What happens if my club does not meet a minimum club requirement in any given year?

An alumni club may lose its Michigan Ross stipend if it lapses in meeting all nine minimum requirements.

Below, we have outlined the Alumni Engagement team's standard operating procedure for addressing a lapse in club requirements: 

Throughout the fiscal year, an Alumni Relations staff liaison will reach out to any club that appears to not be meeting one or more minimum requirements to assess the situation and determine if additional support or guidance from the school is needed. If a genuine attempt is made from the club to rectify the lapse in policy, no further action will be taken from the school.  

If:

• The club does not respond to the staff liaison’s initial outreach after two follow-up emails; 

• Two months’ time have passed since the initial correspondence request with no response, 

• The Club does not make an attempt to course correct their first policy lapse; or 

• The club fails to meet alumni club minimum requirements in a second instance...

... then the club's Alumni Board of Governors liaison will reach out to the club president to offer support and try to ascertain what the challenge may be.

If the club continues to fail to meet alumni club minimum requirements, or (a) does not respond to the Ross staff liaison and Alumni Board of Governors member or (b) does not make an attempt to course correct their policy lapses, the aforementioned club will lose any remaining school-provided funding it has for the current fiscal year (or upcoming year, if at time of annual transition).


Why are the requirements only applicable to Ross's domestic alumni clubs?

Unlike international clubs, Ross's domestic alumni clubs receive an annual stipend from Michigan Ross. A number of the minimum requirements are both tied to this funding and to the expectations that arise from acknowledging the domestic clubs do have a certain amount of annual resources at their disposal to build club events and leadership opportunities.

We are looking to build out a similar set of guidelines for our largest international clubs in the future.  


Full List of Alumni Clubs, By Tier:

Tier 1 Alumni Clubs

  • Ann Arbor & Detroit
  • BBAA
  • Chicago
  • New York
  • San Francisco

 

Tier 2 Alumni Clubs

  • Boston
  • Los Angeles
  • Seattle
  • Twin Cities (Minneapolis & St. Paul)
  • Washington, D.C.

Tier 3 Alumni Clubs

  • Atlanta
  • Cleveland
  • Dallas
  • Denver
  • Grand Rapids/Western MI
  • Houston
  • Philadelphia
  • Phoenix

Tier 4 Alumni Clubs

  • Austin
  • Charlotte
  • Ft. Lauderdale
  • Hartford
  • Kansas City
  • Miami
  • Pittsburgh