April 16, 2020                                                                

The April 16, 2020 Council meeting was held via WebEx.  alumni, 27 alumni attended.

CU President, Margaret Matz AR’81, opened the meeting at 6:30 PM and welcomed alumni in attendance. 

Council Business

Annual Fund Chair Carol Wolf A’84 gave an update on the school’s finances.  She said that she is deeply concerned.  As a result of COVID-19 events, the school incurred new costs associated with technology needed to offer remote learning, and at the same time donations have dropped off.  The school is now projecting a substantial and critical budget gap.  Carol said that The Cooper Union has asked the CUAA to send an email dedicated to the new campaign to raise money for the COVID-19 Relief Fund. Carol asked for volunteers to help Carol organize Peer to Peer outreach.  The following alumni volunteered: Darrel Low EE’89, George Duckett CE’62, Bernie Codd ChE’83, Jennifer Collins A’93, Bob Kudder CE’67, Ron Vogel ChE’01, Stephan Verderese EE’84.

CUAA Treasurer, Daniel Burke ChE’81 said that back in February, he began reviewing the components of our current budget because we need to submit to the school a budget for next year.  The budget proposed is $17,500. for the 2020-21 year.  Mark A. Vasquez ME’88, Events Committee co-chair, asked permission to discuss the Events line items with the Events committee during that committee’s meeting on Monday.  He also said that he believes that if we anticipate voting on something at a council meeting, that should be indicated on the meeting agenda. 

Mary Lynch ChE’82 interjected that the approval of the budget is a function of the Executive Committee.  Dan Burke indicated he did present the budget at the April 2nd Exec. Committee Mtg, and believed it was approved. He also said that the other Co-chair of the Events committee was present at the Exec. Committee meeting. Margaret Matz said it was discussed at the Exec. Committee and there was general agreement, but they didn’t take a vote.  Dan Burke and Barry Drogin EE’83 both indicated that they are not sure if approval should be given by the Exec. Committee or by the Council. They indicated that the CUAA by-Laws and Constitution are not consistent on that topic.  Margaret said that we can discuss this more at the next Exec. Committee.

Margaret Matz mentioned that Barry Drogin has been involved in some new initiatives of the Communications committee and asked him to speak about that.  Barry mentioned that he created a NYC FB Page dedicated to the COVID-19 crisis, www.facebook.com/groups/CUCOVID/, where alumni and students are sharing information. He also updated some information on the Alumni Pioneer (an on-line publication by Barry) and Pioneer (CU Student Publication) FaceBook pages.  He said this is not actually a Communications Committee effort, but he has been posting about CUAA items and events.  He also mentioned that he has been working with Chris Migano ME’20 and President of CU ASME who is organizing a series of Alumni Talks For Cooper Alumni.  He mentioned that Mary Lynch is also working with Chris.

Mary Lynch explained that she will be giving a talk on using LinkedIn and the Alumni Directory for Alumni Networking next Thursday, and that it would be one of the talks in a series organized by Chris Migano.  Her talk began as an offer to the Mechanical Engineering Seniors, given when she spoke to that class in person a few weeks ago.  After the school closed, and all training moved to the remote version, so did her talk.  The audience was expanded to all students and alumni and was incorporated into this series of talks.  Jennifer Collins A’93 and her business partner, will be giving a talk on Tuesday that is also on networking.  And Anna Brook ChE’04 will be giving a talk on careers in the legal fields.  If there are any other alumni interested in speaking to the students, please let Mary or Chris know.

Committee Reports

  •  Anthony Maganiello CE’06, Communications Chair, said that the Communications committee will be sending out a blast on the election process and on Meet the Candidate Night.  He said that the CUAA will be trying out Zoom for the Meet The Candidate event.
  • Shankar Venkataraman BSE’03, Election Committee Chair, explained that alumni vote using a unique link that is emailed to them.  They use that link to access an electronic ballot on Survey Monkey.  The links were emailed out on March 23rd for the first time.  Once a week, a new email is sent to alumni who are registered but have not yet voted.  The election will end on May 23rd.   Traditionally we have held an in-person Meet The Candidate Night.  This year we will hold the event on Zoom and we are still working on the logistics for that.  Anthony and Shankar are in charge of logistics for this event. 
  • Nan Wei Chen CE’13 Events Committee Co-Chair, provided an update for that committee.  She said the committee is exploring doing virtual Happy Hour events.  They would be a continuation of the regular 1st Tuesday Happy Hour events.  The first Virtual Happy Hour is being combined with a CU Story Telling evening and it will take place on May 5th from 7 to 8 PM.  Mark A Vasquez is exploring bringing some alumni showcase events on-line too.  They are currently having discussions with Cristina Ross AR’81 who has recently published a book.
  • Barry Drogin mentioned that the April visit to Peter Cooper’s Gravesite in Green Wood Cemetery event that he has hosted for several years will not happen this year, because of the COVID-19 shut-down.  Mark A. Vasquez asked if there is any way this could be done virtually.  Barry said he would look into that.

New Business

Bob Kudder CE’67 asked that links be given for all the upcoming virtual events, so that they can be included in the emails that we use in the Peer to Peer outreach.

Mary Lynch mentioned that Bob Kudder is a CUAA Regional Representative for the Chicago Group, and asked if that group has any requests for the CUAA.  He mentioned that he needs an updated contact list for the Chicago region.  Mary indicated that is something that the school office of Alumni Affairs provides and that she will follow-up with that office.

Margaret Matz provided the Alumni Trustee update.  She said that the school’s migration to Remote Learning has been successful, but expensive.

Larry Levine AR’69 made a motion to close the meeting.  Carol Wolf seconded that motion.  The meeting was adjourned at 8:30 PM.

Minutes taken by Mary Lynch, CUAA Secretary