A message from the Alumni Association

Dear Alumni,

In order to better serve our members and enhance our important work of alumni affinity and engagement, we are hard at work to rejuvenate the USask Alumni Association. A major step forward was voting to adopt a new volunteer structure.

A Special Meeting of the Association was convened on June 26, 2019 where the ratification of the proposed changes to the structure of the Association took place and was unanimously accepted.
 
This new structure, which includes the introduction of a new advisory board, will aid us in the continuation of our mission to provide significant value to all University of Saskatchewan alumni around the world, to build alumni community and offer meaningful engagement experiences.
 
We are confident that this change will enhance both the member and volunteer experience. It goes without saying that we are always dedicated to maintaining our rich tradition of increasing our lifelong relationships with the university and our alumni.

For more background information and supporting documentation, please view the information below.
                                       

Kelly Strueby (BComm'84)
President, USask Alumni Association

Guy Larocque 
Executive Director, USask Alumni Association
Associate Vice President, Alumni Relations, USask

The Alumni Association

Building upon the proud history and tradition of the University of Saskatchewan, the University of Saskatchewan Alumni Association (USAA) encourages and fosters lifelong involvement of alumni in the life of the university. It is committed to adding value to the lives of all alumni by engaging the community of graduates and celebrating alumni success throughout the world. 

What will the changes bring? 

  • Speed of decision-making and execution
  • Enhanced flexibility and trust
  • Representation and degree of autonomy
  • Greater influence and closer partnership with the university
  • Increased relevance and connectivity
This is a significant governance change for the Association and an important step in the direction of enhancing membership value, Association relevance and partnership with our alma mater.

What you need to know

  • The Association Board felt the need to intensify the dialogue with the university and better co-ordinate planning and execution of alumni engagement activities. It sought greater influence in the development of engagement strategies, greater visibility within the university and greater involvement, all to better position the alumni voice within the university and more effectively deliver on its mission of adding value to and fostering lifelong involvement of alumni.
  • The bylaws needed to be changed to reflect the new governance structure. At the same time, the bylaws should also be modernized to better reflect the Saskatchewan non-profit legislation, which governs the Alumni Association.
  • Modifications to the membership classes will allow for quicker decision-making and reaction times in order to keep pace with the university and remain relevant.
View the Alumni Association Evolution Brief for more detailed background information.
The experience of the large majority of alumni members will not change or be directly affected by the evolution in their everyday lives. Over time, the quality and variety of engagement opportunities will improve. There will be greater synergies and alignment between the Association and the university.

The creation of the Advisory Board will give alumni a stronger voice within the university for the benefit of alumni, the Association and the university. The Advisory Board will be comprised of accomplished alumni who can bring their unique perspectives to guide alumni engagement planning, execution and expansion.

Modified and additional membership classes
will define specific roles in and for the Association. These would include Ordinary Members, Associate Members, Honorary Members and Governance Members. Currently, the Association supports three classes of members, Ordinary Members, Associate Members and Honorary Members.

The Association will have a new, fixed, Board of Directors. The new board’s primary responsibility will be ensuring that the Association follows its legal obligations as a Saskatchewan not-for-profit corporation, and reinforce the close partnership between the Association and the university.

For more details on the new Alumni Advisory Board view our Terms of Reference for the USask Alumni Advisory Board.

For more details on the new membership classes refer to "What are the membership classes?" in the Frequently asked questions section.

For more details on the new Association Board of Directors composition refer to "Who oversees the USAA?" in the Frequently asked questions section.

Frequently asked questions

Under the new structure, Governance Members will incur the responsibility of voting at University of Saskatchewan Alumni Association (USAA) member meetings, with a focus on taking care of ongoing legal and governance requirement matters. Such matters would include annual approval of the Board of Directors and authorization of legal counsel to make annual corporate filings to keep the USAA in good standing.  Voting on these legal and governance matters would be the full responsibility of Governance Members.

As noted in the Alumni Association Evolution Brief, the new University of Saskatchewan Alumni Advisory Board will, through the kind of focused discussions and high-level engagement that contribute to the overall success of the university, create a stronger voice for alumni within the University of Saskatchewan. 

All alumni will continue to:

  • be an alumnus or alumna of the University of Saskatchewan;
  • have the right to voice concerns to the USAA;
  • participate in engagement activities, including attending events;
  • receive communications from the university and the Association
  • enjoy alumni privileges, services, benefits; and
  • have access to various volunteering opportunities.

The Association, the Advisory Board and the university will work closely together to expand and enhance the privileges, services, benefits, communications, volunteering opportunities and other engagement activities so valued by USask alumni.

Under the new organizational structure for the University of Saskatchewan Alumni Association (USAA) (as reflected in the Corporate Articles of Amendment) there will be four membership classes.

Please note that any member, regardless of their class, is entitled to engage with the USAA, the Advisory Board, the Alumni Relations Office and is considered an alumnus or an alumna of the University of Saskatchewan. All alumni members, whether they have voting rights or not, are encouraged to voice their concerns and engage with the USAA, the Advisory Board or the Alumni Relations Office and participate in engagement activities, volunteer for the Association, receive communications from the university and the Association, and enjoy privileges, services and benefits.

  • Ordinary Members: Only individuals holding a university degree certificate or diploma from the University of Saskatchewan may hold this type of membership class. This class is non-voting at the annual meeting.
  • Associate Members: Only individuals who have satisfied one of the following may hold this class of membership:
    • Completion of 30 credit units towards an undergraduate degree at the University of Saskatchewan and it being the case that the class with which the individual started at the University of Saskatchewan has graduated;
    • Completion of graduate program course work at the University of Saskatchewan but has not completed a thesis or dissertation;
    • Completion of one year of a program at the University of Saskatchewan that results in accreditation; or
    • Being a retired (or former) University of Saskatchewan faculty member or staff member.
    • This class is non-voting at the annual meeting.
  • Honorary Members: Only individuals approved by ordinary resolution of the Board of Directors of the USAA in recognition of those individuals’ exceptional service to, affinity for, or support of the University of Saskatchewan may hold this class of membership. This class is non-voting at the annual meeting.
  • Governance Members: This is the only new membership class. Only individuals who will serve on the Board of Directors of the USAA may hold this class of membership when in office. This class is voting at the annual meeting.
The University of Saskatchewan Alumni Association (USAA) has a new, fixed, Board of Directors. That board will always consist of: 

  • The senior alumni official of the University of Saskatchewan
  • The Executive Director of the USAA
  • The Chair of the University of Saskatchewan Alumni Advisory Board
  • Two other individuals serving on, and nominated by, the University of Saskatchewan Alumni Advisory Board 
The new Board’s primary responsibility will be ensuring that the USAA follows its legal obligations as a Saskatchewan not-for-profit corporation. These obligations include the approval of the board of directors of the USAA, the approval of annual financial statements of the USAA, and dispensing with the requirement for an auditor for the USAA.
The mandate of the new University of Saskatchewan Alumni Advisory Board (Advisory Board) is set out in the Terms of Reference for the USask Alumni Advisory Board. Fundamentally, the Advisory Board is meant to be a stronger voice for alumni of the University of Saskatchewan and comprised of accomplished alumni who can bring their unique perspectives to benefit the alumni as a whole. 

As noted in the new organizational chart found in the Alumni Association Evolution Brief, the Advisory Board will work closely with the USask Associate Vice President, Alumni Relations, and report to the Vice President, University Relations, who will in turn report directly to the university President. This new reporting structure seeks to balance (1) ensuring alumni concerns are being heard by the top levels of administration at the University of Saskatchewan, and (2) respecting existing reporting hierarchies within the University of Saskatchewan administration.

More information and important documents