YAA Board of Governors: Values & Expectations

About the Board

The YAA Board of Governors is the volunteer leadership of the alumni association, made up of five officers, 24 members, and eight ex-officio members. This page defines the values and the mutual expectations to which the board aspires.

YAA Mission & Core Values

The YAA organizational mission and values were adopted in December 2018.

Our mission is to enhance and renew the lifelong Yale experience for all alumni, whoever they are and wherever they may be. We strive to inspire new ideas, affiliations, friendships, professional fulfillment, and acts of service, around the world.

Our core values are: openness, relevance, inclusion, impact, and collaboration.

Board Values

Info Accordions

  • We seek to demonstrate the highest standards of ethical behavior both as individuals and as an organization, revealing any perceived conflicts of interest and avoiding direct personal or professional advantage that might derive from our membership with the Association or the Board.

  • We seek to serve the best interests of all alumni and Yale rather than representing any one constituency, network, or interest group.
  • As a Board we utilize our best individual talents and insights to develop a shared understanding of issues and options, striving to reach consensus but, when that is not possible, respecting and supporting the ultimate decision of the Board.

  • We demonstrate mutual respect and consideration in discussing Board matters with each other, with other alumni, with YAA staff, and with other Yale administrators. We encourage diversity of ideas, listen carefully to our colleagues, acknowledge the ideas of others, and contribute our own thoughts.
  • We provide feedback and opinions that are constructive and respectful of the lived experiences of our fellow members.
  • We serve as models for the alumni community in our own Yale-related social media engagement by being courteous and positive. We respect the social media preferences of other Board members in terms of privacy and participation.
  • We manage our technology when in meetings to maximize our own participation and minimize activities that could distract from board business and our interactions.

  • We are committed to incorporating the values of diversity, equity, and inclusion in all that we do, and we work to challenge the biases we encounter and promote a diverse body of leaders from among our alumni.
  • We take responsibility for learning about DEI to advance our understanding and enhance our ability to engage an increasingly diverse alumni community.

  • We welcome new ideas from all corners of the alumni community and encourage open dialogue about how to incorporate new initiatives in the context of current priorities and resource constraints. We promote use of the Guidelines for Volunteer-Led Events, Initiatives & Programs.

  • We honor the confidentiality of sensitive or private information to which we may have access as a result of our Board work, whether it pertains to each other, other alumni, YAA staff or University matters.
  • We are particularly attuned to any information that is shared in writing, especially emails since these are easily forwarded.

Board Expectations

Info Accordions

  • We familiarize ourselves with the Board’s governing documents and understand the scope, direction, goals, and values of the Board. We are aware that the Board of Governors is a working and advisory, rather than fiduciary, body and work within that understanding.
  • We come to meetings bringing an open mind and fully prepared, having read agendas, minutes, and reports on the board shared site.

  • We respond promptly to invitations and requests for action.
  • We attend all scheduled in-person and online activities, meetings, and events, participating constructively in board committee work, and volunteer for committee tasks.
  • We respectfully consider the opinions of others.
  • We maintain open communication and an effective partnership with other Board members and YAA staff.
  • We continually work to develop and improve our knowledge and skills as Board members.

  • We represent the highest standards of alumni engagement and leadership and strive to be exemplary role models and ambassadors within the YAA, the Yale community, and our own communities.
  • We model leadership by fully participating in the annual YAA Assembly and make ourselves available to mentor new members of the YAA Assembly and the Board of Governors.
  • We actively support efforts to build an inclusive leadership pipeline. We connect, engage, and nominate candidates for at-large delegates, YAA board, Alumni Fellow, Excellence Awards, Yale Medal, and other programs as requested.  
  • We are free to express our personal opinions and in doing so are careful not to represent our personal opinions as views of the Board.
  • We utilize our affiliation with the Board within the parameters authorized by the Board.

  • We participate in periodic assessments and evaluations of the Board’s work.

  • We communicate concerns about any Board member, Officer, or YAA staff to the Board Chair and/or the Executive Director. Concerns about the Board chair should be communicated to the Executive Director. Concerns about the Executive Director should be communicated to the Board Chair and/or the Executive Director’s manager, currently the university’s Vice President for Alumni Affairs and Development.

Last revised: July 2022