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Apply to Serve as a Director on the ARA Board

If you would like to apply to serve on the ARA Board of Directors or nominate someone else to serve on the ARA Board, please complete the online form. Nominations are welcome at any time of the year, though the committee meets during the fall and winter to determine candidates for the following year. Candidates are notified of their nomination to the Board in mid-March. Preference will be given to applicants to have not yet served on the ARA Board, however those who have already served are not precluded from serving a second term.

Applications for FY19 ARA Board of Directors are now closed. Applications for the ARA Board of Directors term beginning in July 2019 are due November 1, 2018.

ARA Board Applications

Pursuant to the Constitution and By-Laws of the Association of Rice Alumni (“the Association”), the Committee on Board Nominations (“the Committee”) selects alumni to serve as members of the Association’s Board of Directors (“the Board”).  The Committee presents the names of candidates to the Board, which votes on the recommendation.  Each year, the Committee typically nominates seven candidates along with two alternate candidates, and the Committee also nominates candidates to fill Board vacancies when necessary.

The Constitution instructs the President of the Association to appoint “members of the Board, and such other members of the Association as might seem necessary to ensure a balanced alumni representation” to serve on the Committee.  The By-Laws instruct the Committee to “make a concerted effort to ensure that the membership of the Board is representative of the overall alumni population” and to select Directors “according to their ability to represent the alumni of Rice University, to further the mission statement and goals of the Association, to attend Board meetings, and to expend the time and energy necessary to make the Association a success.”

Neither the Constitution nor the By-Laws set out specific guidelines for the Committee to follow to meet these objectives, but over time the Committee has developed an informal set of criteria that guides the Committee in carrying out its task.  These criteria include, but may not be limited to, the following:

  • Involvement with Rice since graduation, including regional engagement for those not in the Houston area. The Committee gives significant weight to this criteria, particularly recent involvement with Rice and demonstrated leadership.
  • Diversity, including diversity of gender, race, ethnicity, geographic location, course of study at Rice, and profession or other work-related activity. While it is difficult to represent each of these areas with a 28-member Board, the Committee considers all of these types of diversity.
  • Class year and degree types (i.e., undergraduate and/or graduate). The Board serves the interests of all alumni, and therefore the Committee seeks to select Board members that represent as many schools and courses of study as possible.
  • Regular financial support of Rice, without considering the amount given. The Board is not a fundraising body, but regular financial support of Rice (to any area of the university and in any amount) demonstrates a continued commitment to the institution.
  • Undergraduate or graduate student leadership and involvement. Involvement while a student demonstrates dedication to the university, although not all students have the same opportunity to be involved and involvement after graduation is given greater weight.
  • Professional honors, accomplishments, and community activities. Accomplishment in other endeavors can be a helpful indicator of ability and willingness to serve as a valuable Board member, especially in endeavors with some relevance to the Board’s work.

Board Member Responsibilities

In order to carry out its mission to build a reciprocally beneficial relationship between Rice University and its alumni, the ARA Board should consist of members who enthusiastically advocate and support its activities and who also take an active role in the life of the university.  While the Board understands that its members will have varied interests and strengths, all members are expected to meet the standards of participation outlined in this document.

Relating to the ARA Board and its Committees

  • The ARA Board meets three times a year: typically once in the fall, winter, and spring (Commencement weekend).  Board members commit to attend all three board meetings each year, subject only to unforeseeable exigencies. Board business begins on Friday afternoon and continues until late afternoon on Saturday. The spring board meeting takes place during Commencement weekend and is followed by the Laureates Awards Dinner on Saturday evening. Newly elected ARA Board Members are invited, and strongly encouraged, to attend the spring board meeting, which takes place the spring prior to the beginning of new board member terms.
  • ARA Board members are responsible for arranging their own travel for ARA Board meetings. The ARA Board is designed to be accessible to all alumni of Rice University, regardless of financial considerations. Board members concerned about the cost of travel for the Board’s triannual meetings are encouraged to contact the Alumni Relations staff to request reimbursement for travel expenses.
  • Board members commit to serve on ARA standing committees (such as Nominations, Laureates, etc.) as well as ARA Board task forces.  There should be little extra burden to non-Houstonians in serving on these committees, as they typically can participate by email and telephone conferences. However, all Board members are asked to be active participants in their assigned committees and task forces.

Relating to ARA Programs and Activities

  • ARA Board members commit to attend the Laureates Dinner each year (as noted above, the Laureates Dinner is held during Commencement weekend).  Board members are strongly encouraged to attend Homecoming and Reunion each year. Expenses related to attending ARA programs and activities are the responsibility of individual Board members.
  • Board members commit to attend any ARA event in their region involving the Rice president to which they are invited, subject only to unforeseeable exigencies, and to serve on ARA host and other event committees if asked.
  • Board members who live outside of Houston commit to take an active role in local alumni activities and in promoting ARA and Rice involvement to fellow alumni. All board members also commit to take an active role in alumni affinity group activities.
  • Board members commit to being active between board meetings by responding to ARA related e-mails and correspondence and participating in e-mail and conference call discussions and votes.
  • Board members will be invited to participate in a variety of additional ARA Board related activities, including service on the Alumni Recognition Committee (ARC), serving as a Homecoming and Reunion Co-Chair or Ambassador, and serving as a regional or affinity group liaison to the Board. While Board members are not required to participate in these activities, active engagement with one or more volunteer opportunities is strongly encouraged.
  • Board members commit to being active members of Sallyportal, serving as mentors to Rice students and fellow alumni, and to participate in professional development and networking events whenever possible. As active members of Sallyportal, Board members also commit to posting frequently to the site, and to engaging with alumni and students via the message portal on the site.
  • The ARA Board continues to evolve to best serve the growing and changing Rice alumni community. In order to remain a nimble and relevant organization, ARA Board Members are asked to participate in frequent discussions regarding board best practices, and to pilot new board practices and procedures when appropriate. 

Association of Rice Alumni Board Member Roles and Responsibilities

In order to carry out its mission to build a reciprocally beneficial relationship between Rice University and its alumni, the ARA Board members commit to enthusiastically advocate and support its activities and also take an active role in the life of the university.  While the Board understands that its members will have varied interests and strengths, members are expected to meet the standards of participation outlined below.

Required Duties Leadership One-Year Appointments Leadership Three-Year Appointments
On-going support of Sallyportal Regional and Affinity group liaisons Laureates Selection Committee
Serve on at least one task force/year Alumni Recognition Committee Chair Board Nominations Committee
Recruit alumni to apply to Board Homecoming & Reunion Chair Executive Committee At-Large Member
Attend All-Alumni Meeting at Homecoming & Reunion    
Active support and recruitment for hosts of OwlEdge externships    

Attend 3 Board meetings per year


Annual Fund contribution


Attend Laureates Awards Dinner


Attend Presidential Visits in region



Giving to Rice

Many foundations and philanthropic institutions from whom Rice seeks donations will not consider making a gift to a non-profit organization unless its leadership is unanimously on record as contributing.  Recognizing the importance of alumni giving in general and participation in the Rice Annual Fund in particular, the ARA Board of Directors in November 2008 unanimously endorsed the Centennial Campaign and committed to 100% annual support of the Rice Annual Fund.  All Board members commit to contribute each year to the Rice Annual Fund.  This can be for any amount suitable to one’s circumstances, and must be in addition to any other gift made to the university.  

ARA Board of Directors Nomination Committee

Michol Ecklund ’97, Committee Chair
Kurt Kasper PhD ’06 Sub-committee Co-chair
Gilbert Casillas ’93
Desiree Hopping ’77
David Janson ’09
David Mansouri ’07
Tamara Siler ’86
Marty Sosland ’75
Julie Tam ’03
Libby Ulman ’13
Marthe D. Golden, Executive Director Association of Rice Alumni
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