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Office of the President, UT Arlington

 

July 28, 2014

 

Dear Friends:

You may be aware of the discussions regarding the current financial situation and potential dissolution of the UT Arlington Alumni Association. With the utmost respect for our alumni and the Association and keeping in mind that the UT Arlington Alumni Association is an independent 501(c)(3) organization, I did not want to intercede in the recent discussions until Association members had the opportunity to discuss matters themselves.

I do, however, want to make sure that all of our alumni and the greater UT Arlington community are assured of the highest level of commitment and interest that both I personally, and the University, have in ensuring that we strengthen our engagement with, and support of, our alumni. We are extremely proud of each alumnus and alumna and want to ensure that we as a University community always look to doing all we can to continue enhancing the excellence that defines our wonderful institution and alma mater.

Please let me share some updates with you about forthcoming initiatives that will strengthen our engagement with, and support of, the 180,000 alumni of The University of Texas at Arlington. These efforts will enhance the University’s relationship with alumni around the world and will emphasize the importance of alumni participation in all aspects of the University.

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The University is searching for a new Vice President for Development and Alumni Relations. This expanded structure will enable us to emphasize the importance of alumni engagement and will enable the University’s focus to be integrated and comprehensive. Patti Diou, president of the board of directors of the independent UT Arlington Alumni Association, is serving as a member of the search committee.

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The University is establishing a specific Office of Alumni Relations within Development and Alumni Relations. This office will serve as our primary University point of contact for all activities related to alumni and will help coordinate and enhance alumni outreach and activities. The search for a Director of Alumni Relations will begin shortly. It is expected that this individual will have significant experience in this area. Alumni representatives will be involved in this search as well.

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As part of our plans to enhance engagement, we will form an alumni advisory group that will serve in an advisory capacity to the Director of Alumni Relations and will assist the office in planning and managing events, as well as in enhancing outreach to all alumni. It is expected that specific task groups for events and activities, existing and new, also would be formed to ensure that the University benefits from the expertise and enthusiasm of our alumni.

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In addition to the alumni advisory group, a smaller alumni advisory task force will be set up to advise the president of pertinent issues and to assist in overall alumni engagement.

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Recognizing that a growing percentage of our alumni reside outside the North Central Texas region, the University will be enhancing our communications with all alumni as well as increasing our Web presence not only to provide information about the University but also to enable alumni to connect with each other.

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As previously requested by the UT Arlington Alumni Association, the University will host and manage events and traditions such as the Distinguished Alumni Awards and Gala, the annual Oozeball Mud Volleyball Tournament and the Maverick Marauders, the Association’s student ambassador program. We have committed not only to continue these valued traditions but to strengthen them, and we will continue to do so with the active engagement of numerous alumni.

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We will continue to build upon the University’s increased interaction and events with alumni. Additional gatherings, stand-alone events such as Greek alumni receptions, small meetings and events associated with larger UT Arlington events such as Welcome Week and the MavsMeet Convocation, Homecoming, and Commencement will be held to enhance opportunities for alumni to meet each other, to visit campus, and to strengthen their relationship with the University.

We remain extremely respectful of the discussions and decisions of the UT Arlington Alumni Association as an independent organization. We do understand, however, that the leadership of the Association has a number of difficult decisions ahead of them. (See related FAQs.) We also have heard from alumni about their concern regarding the future of chapters, their memberships and other important interactions should the Alumni Association not have the financial ability to continue in its current form. We would like to assure all alumni that in any event, the University will continue to support all alumni and alumni groups, specifically:

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The University will honor all benefits previously extended to those who have paid for memberships in the Association, including Life members. These benefits include parking privileges, access to the UT Arlington Library and University Club and discounts on campus activities and events, among other items.

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We would, through the newly created Office of Alumni Relations, provide strong and meaningful mechanisms to support and enhance the engagement of all existing alumni chapters and clubs. These are essential aspects of alumni engagement, and the University desires to strengthen and assist in growing these irrespective of the path forward.

Should you have any questions about any of these activities or events, or any suggestions for how we might strengthen engagement, please do not hesitate to contact me at vkarbhari@uta.edu.

Sincerely,

Vistasp KarbhariPresident

Vistasp Karbhari
President

 

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Office of the President • 300 Davis Hall • Box 19125 • Arlington, Texas 76019-0125

vkarbhari@uta.edu • 817-272-2101 (voice) • 817-272-5656 (fax)