November 11, 2020 – Held via Zoom
Meeting started at 6:36pm
Margaret Matz opened the meeting. She mentioned a tribute is being prepared for Rachel Warren (outgoing Chair of the Board of Trustees).
Nohar Barnea introduced herself and noted that she was working on the Venice project. She stated that she is removing herself from the project and does not grant the project permission to use her images and intellectual creative property. Nohar said she thought that the project was being done on behalf of the CUAA, and thought she was providing work for the CUAA, but it turned out this is not a CUAA project.
Carol Wolf expressed that there has been confusion regarding how the CUAA is involved with the project, and it was clarified at a special meeting of the Executive Committee. At that time, it was determined that the CUAA would only promote invitations and celebrate alumni. She provided some history about CUAA’s understanding of the project and that CUAA became aware that it was open to Cooper alumni as well as Italian architects.
Nohar noted that the Cooper Union as the school should have some agreement for respecting intellectual property and to address the transparency of the institution.
Paul Nikulin stated that it is not CUAA’s or Executive Committee’s place to be arbiters of the situation between Nohar and Margaret Matz, and wanted to give Nohar the opportunity to discuss the issues that came up.
Mary Lynch noted that the CUAA asks for permission to post work on its website and credits alumni for the artwork.
Margaret stated that Nohar joined the Venice project late in the process and the design was well underway at that point.
Donato Giacalone stated that he agrees not to use Nohar’s images or designs in the Venice project.
Carol asked about an update on Donato’s work to connect with the school to support Venice Biennale. He has a meeting coming up with Hayley Eber. Margaret mentioned that Julian LaVerdiere and others met with Dean Essl and would share minutes of that meeting.
There was discussion regarding maintaining the messaging regarding CUAA involvement in the Venice project. There was agreement that participants in the project should be made aware of how the CUAA is involved. Cristina Ross suggested that Margaret send a clarifying email to project participants.
Laura Spinner spoke about Awards Committee activities. She said that last year there was an Alumnus of the Year and Young Alumnus of the Year awards. She asked for permission to post a call for nominations for the award this year and also whether it was possible to approve this process for future years.
Mary expressed concern for setting the rules for a future executive committee. The award has predominantly been for service to the CUAA and can be for service to the school, but it is usually a CUAA award and not everyone is eligible for the award. Laura suggested that the recurring nature of the call for nominations be tabled.
Laura reminded ExComm that their vote on award recipients is to confirm that there are no conflicts of interest, not to reconsider the selected alumnus’ achievements.
A motion to post a call for nominations for Alumnus of the Year and Young Alumnus of the Year awards on the CUAA website was approved.
Eric Hirschhorn and Bernie Codd addressed communications. Margaret Matz addressed moving the CUAA website from its current platform to a Cooper platform. Eric Hirschhorn suggested that the focus should be the culture, not the technology. Mary said that the discussion should be what kinds of content the CUAA has and what content it wants to have. Examples are lists of publishers and in memoriam lists and it should be decided who does what.
Eric went through the outline of a communications proposal. Hosting the CU and CUAA websites in the same place is not controversial. There was discussion how to combine CU and CUAA alumni/donor databases. A suggestion was to send an email to the CUAA list notifying alumni that their contact information would be shared with Cooper Union.
Anna Brook raised the issue of order of operations – first the CU and CUAA lists would be reconciled and only people who are not on both lists would be contacted to be included on the other list. People on both lists would not be contacted twice. Eric agreed that the lists would be reconciled first.
Eric and Bernie noted that the goal is to coordinate events announcement emails so that there is consistent messaging and set timing of emails to alumni.
A question was raised what the CUAA will do with messaging that the school does not want its name on. Mary said that hasn’t happened in the last few years, but was an issue in the previous administration.
Eric proposed that CUAA move forward with a website that has content that is accepted by the school’s webmaster, and a CUAA newsletter that does not need school review. Carol Wolf asked if social media would be a separate space. Eric agreed that social media would be separate from the school and not subject to review. Mary Lynch said she previously worked with the school and the process of approving content. Eric said he would take the need for approval of certain aspects and speed of approval to the school administration.
Mary highlighted that the school has a graphics center that may need to approve website graphics. She said CUAA would want to be able to use its own graphics. Eric said he will add this issue to his list to discuss with the school. Carol mentioned that designing graphics could be an outlet for alumni designers to participate and the CUAA does not want to lose that.
Anna Brook moved to adjourn the meeting. The motion was seconded. The meeting was adjourned at 8:20 pm.