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Alumni Action Plan

School of Public Policy and Governance
Discussion Draft

2011-12

Draft Alumni Terms of Reference (Discussion Draft)
Vision:  The Alumni Network aims to represent all graduating classes and provide a variety of professional, academic and social opportunities for School of Public Policy & Governance (SPPG) alumni to connect, both with current students and professionals and academics in the larger policy community. Mission:  To promote and support social and professional connections among alumni of the SPPG with larger policy communities.  To undertake activities that contribute to, and benefit the SPPG and its current students. Membership:  Graduates of SPPG are automatically awarded membership to the network.  Honorary Alumni membership may be extended to members of the broader SPPG community, including faculty, fellows and external partners.  All alumni are welcome and encouraged to volunteer as part of the Network Council, which is the governing body of the network and is composed of a minimum of two alumni members representing each graduating class. Roles and Responsibilities  The Network Council is the governing body of the network and meets as required to coordinate activities and business on behalf of the Alumni Network and delivers on the agreed upon Alumni Action Plan.  The Network Council requires, at minimum, the representation of one member of each graduating class.  The Network Council could also include representation from the SPPG’s current student body, administration, faculty and fellows and/or the broader community or external partners.  At present, the appointment process for alumni is informal and is based on interest, through a call for voluntary participants for a one-year renewable term beginning in September. When there is a critical mass among volunteers, The Network Council will explore options to expand the governance structure to include regional chapters and possibilities for elections and potential leadership positions, e.g., Chair, Co-Chair and Secretary/Treasurer.  As the Network Council grows, members may also designate functions to specific committees, such as business planning and finances, communications, web platform development and support, special projects, etc. Funding Model:  In 2011/12 Initiatives hosted by the Alumni Network will be funded through a reciprocal mixed model, through which the SPPG provides for ongoing operating costs with the support of the core volunteer team for the Alumni Network.  The Alumni Network will establish a scholarship fund to provide academic scholarships and financial support to needy students, e.g., those participating in unpaid internships.  Contributions for the Alumni Scholarship Fund will be collected through participation costs and admission fees for events and activities organized and hosted by the Alumni Network.

Alumni Action Plan 2011-2012 (Discussion Draft)
Note: The Discussion Draft Alumni Action Plan outlines a variety of prospective professional, social and structural activities and initiatives that have been identified by current alumni and members of the Network Council. We welcome input from Alumni and other members of the SPPG community as to which initiatives would be most meaningful to pursue in the 2011-12 year. Although we hope to maintain the action items listed below as part of a running list of long-term priorities, a final manageable Alumni Action Plan will be confirmed based on the interests of Alumni and the resources within the Network Council. Building and Maintaining Professional Connections  Coordinate and implement the SPPG Alumni Mentorship Program where alumni would be paired with policy professionals identified through the personal and professional connections of alumni and SPPG faculty. Alumni would be partnered based on a variety of selection criteria identified by program participants, as well as the alignment of personal and professional goals between mentor and mentee.  Building connections with other policy schools to expand the scope of the professional network of SPPG Alumni.  Ensuring the representation of the Alumni Network on the SPPG External Advisory Board.  Coordinating an annual research and public consultation symposium entitled “Policy for the Public,” where alumni would share their research or explain initiatives they participate in with alumni, members of the public and individuals from relevant policy communities.  Provide and coordinate volunteer resources and support to initiatives proposed by alumni to mirror the academic environment and allow alumni the opportunity to work cooperatively on policy or research issues. Building and Maintaining Social Connections  Organizing an annual Garden Party to welcome new Alumni and share information about the network  Organizing an annual SPPG Alumni Homecoming where recent graduates would speak to current students about their academic and career experiences.  The Alumni Book Club, will be hosted quarterly (or more frequently) where alumni can meet to discuss a policy text of mutual interest.  Hosting informal municipal, provincial and federal election parties to convene the Alumni in a social environment to discuss current political issues.  Coordinating a bi-annual “Policy Pub Debates” to engage Alumni in an exciting and arbitrarily determined tête-à-tête timed debate on a variety of policy issues. Alumni will raise funds through a small admittance fee, which will be assigned to the winner to contribute to an alumni scholarship or a charity of their choice. The winner will be commemorated with an engraved, which will be the prize for subsequent debates and begin an alumni tradition. Building and Maintaining an Alumni Infrastructure  Developing and maintaining an Alumni Directory so that alumni can locate each other and remain connected to the Alumni Network. This directory will include basic contact

information, but could be developed at an advanced level to include a personal profile, employment information etc. This will be based on the interest of alumni.  Developing and implementing a communications strategy that includes mechanisms to survey the interests of all Alumni and provides consistent and accessible communications about Alumni Network goals and activities through social networking tools/groups, a regular newsletter, website updates, sharing the meeting notes of core alumni volunteers, etc.  Developing and maintaining an Online Community for the SPPG Alumni Network. This community will host the Alumni Directory, meeting minutes, newsletters and event information to begin and will provide an opportunity to build a more robust Network.  Building a connection to the University of Toronto Alumni Association and determine additional networks to partner with within the University.