Dear Ford School alumni and friends,
Our fall 2022 alumni board meeting that coincided with the Ford School’s Welcome hoMe celebration was a big success! We met in a hybrid format, and those joining in-person at Weill Hall took the opportunity to meet up with other alumni who came back during Homecoming weekend.
The running theme throughout the meeting was “season of transition.” Interim Dean Celeste Watkins-Hayes outlined four goals to guide the work of faculty, staff, and students this year, FORD Forward. The FORD Forward is:
- Forward-looking strategy: Pursuing a short list of key goals that will have lasting and consequential impact on the future direction of the school.
- Operational excellence: Continuing to operate at a level of excellence in all areas, including our teaching, advising, research, policy engagement, and daily life at the Ford School.
- Reflection and restorative work: Ensuring that our community proactively encourages rejuvenation and sustainability.
- Diversity, equity, and inclusion: Fostering a welcoming, informative, and inspiring environment for all members of the community.
We also checked in with key Ford School staff and the transitions happening around the school. Peter Vasher, the new director of Career Services and former assistant director of Graduate Career Services shared several updates. Newly restructured, Ford School Career Services will continue its long-standing tradition of providing best-in-class services to graduate students, while developing more robust services and resources to support undergraduate students in their career development. Chief development officer Sue Johnson shared that several new staff have joined the Development team. Among them is alumni relations assistant director Elisabeth Johnston, who previously served in this role as part of the graduate career services team.
Always a highlight, we met with two Ford School students to learn more about their experiences in the classroom and their summer internships, which were supported by the Alumni Board. Closing out our day, we attended the Welcome hoMe celebration, which included an engaging Policy Talks event with Paula Lantz and Celeste Watkins-Hayes on the topic, Social policy is health policy: Lessons from the pandemic. Following the talk, we met, mingled, and networked with fellow alumni and current students - making for a productive and enjoyable day at Weill Hall.
Importantly, the U-M Alumni Association met on the same day and approved our revised bylaws. You may recall reviewing and voting on proposed new bylaws over the summer. The accepted changes, now formally approved, include:
- Updated language to be consistent with current Ford School and Alumni Board operations.
- Clarification of the process for Alumni Board election ties.
- Revision of the qualifications of professional work experience from two to three years for board members.
- Adjustment to the number of undergraduate representatives elected each election cycle from one to two and the number of graduate representatives from five to four.
- Updated meeting attendance format and requirements to include hybrid and virtual, in addition to in-person.
- Removed the indemnification language.
Thank you to all who participated in this process!
Please remember to vote in the Alumni Board election which is now open. Please check your email for your ballot and vote by November 22 at 11:59 p.m. EDT.
The alumni board loves being engaged in the life of the Ford School—and you can be too! Keep up on news from the Ford School, follow the Ford School’s social media channels, attend events in person or virtually, answer the call to connect with current students through office hours or mock interviews, share job and internship opportunities for Ford School students, and support students and Ford School initiatives by making a gift to the Ford School.
As always, please reach out to me with any questions or concerns.
Naomi Goldberg, Alumni Board chair