CUAA Executive Committee Meeting Minutes                        

September 30, 2019
Alumni Space
6:30 pm – 8:40 pm


Committee members

Margaret Matz

Mark O’Grady

Paul Nikulin
Mary Lynch
Kay Nordstrom
Carol Wolf
Cristina Ross
Dan Burke
Kelly Occhiuzzo Zack


Dan Kloke
Curtis Wayne
Darrell Low
Mark Vasquez
Bill Wolf


CUAA President Margaret Matz opened the meeting at 6:30 pm.

Minutes of the 9/05/19 meeting were approved.

Margaret Matz announced that the Faculty committee recently held two meetings with the school deans.  Margaret said she is going to invite them to speak at the next council meeting and they have agreed to do so. 

Margaret shared that Barry Drogin EE’82 had taken issue with something she said during the recent council meeting that he heard via the Livestream video and she believes he may have taken out of context.  The phrase that he took issue with is “How do you foster a culture of giving message.”  Margaret had used this phrase when paraphrasing a discussion that she had had in August with CU VP of Alumni affairs and Development, Terri Coppersmith. Barry Drogin wrote inside a FaceBook (FB) group that this is another example of alumni bashing and said something derogative about the VP.   Mary Lynch CHE’82 said that she had not seen it and Margaret indicated that Barry did not write his message on the CUAA Facebook page, but inside a different FB group.  Mary said that there isn’t anything we can do to prevent him posting messages on FB outside our page.  Margaret indicated that she knows that and the issue has been smoothed over for now.  She is only bringing it up now as a reminder to all, that we need to be careful about what we say and remember that people do view the council meeting videos on-line after the meeting because they are available on

Margaret spoke briefly about the exhibit she is helping organize at The Cooper Union on October 26 featuring art work by Caribbean artists who are alumni, and a book of Caribbean poetry.  It will be held in Room 206 of 41 Cooper Square.  Margaret shared that one of the poets in the book is her father.

Margaret then mentioned that the Halloween party being planned by Standish Lee AR’11 has been cancelled. 

Margaret then said we need to talk about protocols for award committees.  Augustus Saint-Gaudens Award Committee Chair, Carol Wolf A’85 said that she objected to any discussion of award protocols without the Awards committee chair being present.  It was agreed to discuss that topic at another meeting when Laura Spinner A’89 can attend.  It was decided we will have another Exec Committee meeting on Thursday via conference call to discuss protocols for award protocols.

Margaret asked Dan Burke to explain the issues surrounding our 501c3/501c7 status and what needs to be done before we can accept donations.  Treasurer, Dan Burke ChE’81 explained that a 501c3 status would allow the CUAA to have income that is tax deductible and accept donations that are tax deductible.  We do not have that status on the federal level yet.  He said that IRS publication 557 seems to say that we won’t qualify for that status.  He explained that we have never had that status.  In 2010, the IRS revoked our 501c7 status because we had not filed our taxes in three years.  That was reinstated on September 26, 2019 and was done so retroactively back to 2010, so we presently do have 501c7 status.  Dan Burke said that he recommends staying with the 501c7 status.

Carol Wolf said that she had spoken with John Oleski from the NYS Attorney General’s Office and he thinks we can qualify as a 501c3 organization.  Former chair of the 501c3 ad-hoc Committee, Darrell Low EE’89 said that the committee had done research and learned of several other alumni organizations who have 501c3 status.  Past CUAA President, Paul Nikulin CE’06 said that John Oleski’s office has been advising the CUAA on the process, and that his office did write a letter saying that the Attourney General Charities Office approved our changed Certificate of Incorporation which did have as organized as a 501c3.  Paul said that he will share the documents that he has on the 501c3 process with Dan Burke.

New Business

Dan Burke expressed a desire for the CUAA to develop a clear process for seeking reimbursement for expenditures that alumni make on behalf of the CUAA.  It should include seeking funds from both the CUAA and the Alumni office.   He said that he believes that invoicesshould be sent to the treasurer first, and he will either pay them from the CUAA account or process them through the school’s Alumni office.  He added, that whether the school handles the reimbursement or he does, it still comes out of the CUAA budget.

Margaret asked Paul Nikulin to explain how this was handled in the past and explain the budget process.  Paul Nikulin made a motion that budget discussion be postponed until the Thursday Conference call which would give Exe Com members a chance to view the latest proposed 2020 budget just distributed to day, and so the Communications Chair could be present.  Carol Wolf seconded that motion.    The motion passed.

Kelly Occhiuzzo Zack A’90 made a motion to adjourn the meeting.  Paul Nikulin seconded that.  The meeting was adjourned at 8:40 PM.

Recorded by:  Mary Lynch, CUAA Secretary