The Caltech Alumni Association Board of Directors is a governance board responsible for executing the Association’s Mission and Strategic Plan in alignment with the strategic goals of Caltech. Directors have fiduciary responsibilities and are responsible for setting CAA’s direction and examining strategy. Board Directors are elected on a rotating basis and each serves a term of three (3) years unless removed or resigned.
The Board and its Directors are not responsible for the day-to-day operations of CAA, which are overseen by CAA Staff and include the creation and leadership of programs, events, and related efforts.
The Caltech Alumni Association Board is a governance board. Accordingly, the Board does not create or lead programs, events, alumni-facing content, or other efforts; those are the responsibilities of the CAA Staff and Caltech executive leadership. CAA Staff works to support the Board and Association by overseeing the day-to-day operations of CAA, including the creation and leadership of CAA programs, events, and alumni-facing content, among other important tasks.
Directors of the Board have fiduciary duties and operate in accordance with the Association’s Bylaws for managing finances and strategy.
A Director of the Board of the Caltech Alumni Association is a leader responsible for providing strategic guidance and oversight to the CAA across its various functions. The Board of Directors’ ultimate role is to assist the Alumni Association’s President/Chief Executive Officer, Staff, and volunteers in carrying out the Mission and Strategic Plan of the Association in concert with the strategic goals of the Institute. In addition to participating in the evaluation of the Executive Director and their performance on behalf of CAA, Board members hold fiduciary responsibility for more than $10 million in annual reserves and operating budgets for programs and communications.
Directors of the Board are asked to commit a considerable amount of time and resources to the CAA, including participating in approximately 20 events throughout the year and contributing financially and through their network to the Alumni Association as well as the Institute. In addition to attending regular quarterly Board meetings, Members of the Board of Directors are expected to serve on at least one Standing Committee and participate in monthly meetings as needed. Members are also expected to attend and assist with CAA events and special meetings, including Seminar Day, an annual retreat, reunions, and other events and alumni experiences.
The Board is guided first and foremost by the CAA Bylaws. Directors of the Board familiarize themselves with these Bylaws and commit to the significant responsibilities of a not-for-profit governing board. The Board reviews its efficacy, composition, organization, and responsibilities annually and improves performance accordingly. The Board also evaluates and proposes prospective board members, and fills vacancies as needed.
CAA is a nonprofit governing board. Unlike a working or advisory board, nonprofit governing boards like CAA refrain from involvement in the day-to-day operations of an organization. Instead, a nonprofit governing board oversees operations through periodic meetings to discuss and vote on the organization’s Mission, Vision, strategic directions, and performance. Board Directors serve with term limits to ensure turnover and succession of members and diversity of ideas. They offer strategy, oversight, and accountability. Governing boards like CAA refrain from involvement in the day-to-day operations of an organization.
Directors of the Board are most successful when they are:
Eligibility requirements are as follows:
To develop its report for the Board's Candidate slate, the Nomination Proposal Committee also considers a set of relevant attributes for Directors of the Board including:
Per CAA Bylaws, the CAA Board of Directors shall have no less than fifteen (15) nor more than twenty-two (22) Directors. To ensure efficiency of operations, the Board determines the exact number of Directors within those parameters.
To ensure the Board continues to maintain fiscal responsibility and govern CAA efficiently, an election in any given year will be deferred to the following year if the Board determines that there are no open Director seats within the parameters set by CAA Bylaws.
Conducting an election involves various expenses, including mailing, receiving, and processing thousands of ballots along with associated administrative and logistical costs. By deferring the election, the CAA can conserve these resources and utilize them for other important initiatives and programs that benefit the alumni community.
Alumni may nominate themselves and/or each other to be considered for the annual slate of nominees for Director positions during the Open Nomination Period. If an election is held, these nominees will be considered by the Nomination Proposal Committee for inclusion on the initial candidate slate.
During the Open Nominations Period, prospective candidates may be invited to participate in informational video interviews with CAA leadership and Nomination Proposal Committee members. During the nomination period, the Committee will accept and consider nomination materials from prospective candidates.
Nominations may be submitted at any time during the Open Nomination Period using the Online Nomination Portal.
In the case of an election, and in addition to the initial slate prepared by the Board, candidates for Directors of the Board may also be nominated via petition during the Open Petition Period with the signatures of at least 50 regular association members in good standing to further ensure an inclusive and open nomination process. Note that the petition period will open in June after the initial slate is announced.
If an election is held, additional information for slate nominees and petition nominees will be posted on candidate profile pages on the website prior to voting. The nominees that receive the largest number of votes shall be elected. In the event of a tie, the Board shall elect one of the tied candidates by plurality vote. Members may request electronic ballots in advance at the following link here. Elected Directors will be formally announced at the Annual Meeting of Members to ensure full transparency.
Further information about the nomination and election process can be found in Process to Join the Board.
Directors on the Board of the CAA serve 3-year terms, and approximately one-third of the Board rolls off and is replenished with a new cohort of Directors each year.
Webpage last updated: July 5, 2023
To identify high-performing potential Board members capable of effectively leading the Caltech Alumni Association (CAA), a large and complex organization that represents more than 25,000 Caltech alumni across the world, the Nomination Proposal Committee receives nominations and, if an election is held, advises the Board in carefully developing an initial slate of candidates for CAA Board of Director seats that will be vacated in September of each year.
The Nomination Proposal Committee is guided by the principle that the Board should represent the diverse perspectives of all Caltech alumni. It comprises 6 Directors of the Board and 4 alumni not affiliated with the Board to ensure the CAA’s broader needs and priorities are addressed to benefit all members.
While taking account of the Board’s present composition and the organization’s future needs to develop its report for the Board's Candidate slate, the Nomination Proposal Committee considers a set of relevant attributes including:
As outlined in the Board and Members Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), the nominations process includes two periods for identifying board candidates: an Open Nomination Period and an Open Petition Period.
Nominations may be submitted at any time using the Online Nomination Portal. Nominations received after the Open Petition Period closes (usually late April), when the Nomination Proposal Committee has begun the current year's selection process, will be considered for the following year.
For information about the nomination and election processes, visit the Board and Members FAQs.
Nomination materials are reviewed by the Nomination Proposal Committee. Nominees and interested parties may also be invited for video interviews with the Nomination Proposal Committee. If an election is held and eligible nominations are received during the Open Nomination Period, the CAA Board will formally announce the slate for the following year in June.
If no eligible petitions are received during the Open Petition Period, nominations shall be closed, and the Secretary will cast the unanimous vote to elect those slate nominees at the Annual Meeting of Members.
If eligible petitions are received during the Open Petition Period, nomination materials and relevant information for all candidates will be published in advance of the eventual election on the CAA website during the Open Ballot Period (August – September). A ballot shall then be prepared and distributed to each CAA member during the Open Ballot Period. Members then vote to select Directors from a combined pool of candidates, including those selected during the Open Nomination Period and all eligible petitioners.
Once all eligible votes are received, the Board will canvass the vote and notify those elected prior to the Annual Meeting of Members in September. In the event of a tie, the Board shall elect one of the tied candidates by plurality vote. Elected Directors will be formally announced at the Annual Meeting of Members to ensure full transparency to all CAA members. Please note, a ballot election incurs a large cost for the Caltech Alumni Association including the costs of mailing, receiving, and processing thousands of ballots. The Online Nomination Portal remains open year around to ensure all interested candidates can be considered without the need to petition.
To further ensure inclusivity and responsiveness to its members, the CAA Board of Directors also introduced e-voting in 2022. CAA members who wish to vote electronically may do so by opting to receive an electronic ballot and communications.
To ensure CAA members are aware and have the opportunity to participate in the nomination and election processes, a brief timeline of notable events is included below:
Webpage last updated: January 29, 2024
The Caltech Alumni Association Board of Directors has periodically updated the Association’s bylaws over the years to ensure its bylaws remain inline with other high-performing alumni associations. These and future updates are intended to improve the Board’s operations, increase transparency and accountability, improve responsiveness to its members, and address items that were missing from the previous bylaws, such as clarifying important milestones and outlining procedures for term limits, resignations, and replacements of Directors and Officers.
Webpage last updated: July 5, 2023
Electronic transmission voting for CAA members is allowed and encouraged. However, there are requirements that must be followed for an individual to request electronic voting. See information concerning these requirements.
Source: Section 10.42 of Advising California Nonprofit Corporations entitled “Electronic Transmission by or to the Corporation,” published by Continuing Education of the Bar, 2021.
Individual CAA members must make this request via signed document and include the email address that will be used for ballot notification. CAA may not make a blanket decision to allow members to vote electronically either through an administrative action or by popular vote of members.
To change your voting preference to electronic, you may download, complete, and return the Consent to Use of Electronic Transmissions form by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by mail to Caltech Alumni Association, MC 1-97, 1200 E California Blvd, Pasadena, CA, 91125.
Based on recent figures, ballots cost from $1 to $1.50 each to print and mail. When possible, CAA inserts ballots into other publications already scheduled to mail to lower organizational mailing costs. Since each meeting announcement and ballot can cost more than $25,000, CAA works directly with legal counsel to limit the number of mailings required to conduct regular administrative business.
Annual Meeting announcements may be sent via email. Ballots may be distributed electronically only if individual members express this preference via the Consent to Use of Electronic Transmissions form.
Webpage last updated: July 5, 2023
The Annual Meeting of Members of the Caltech Alumni Association took place online, via Zoom, on Thursday, September 21, 2023. CAA members heard from the Board of Director leaders and CAA staff about the organizations accomplishments for fiscal year 2023 (October 1, 2022 to September 30, 2023). During the year, the Caltech campus reopened and CAA returned to a full schedule of events held online, on campus, and in cities around the U.S. They learned about plans for the coming year, and approves the minutes from the 2022 Annual Meeting of Members.
Sign up for electronic voting and make your CAA votes more efficient and sustainable. Each Techer must request individually to change voting preference, so complete your electronic voting request form today.