GSM Alumni Association: Board Responsibilities

Members of the Graduate School of Management Alumni Association’s board of directors have several responsibilities that help the association achieve its mission. Board members work closely with the School to identify School, student and alumni needs and pursue new initiatives in response to these needs. They represent fellow graduates and ensure that alumni have a positive impact on the ongoing growth and development of the School. Goals fit into a number of general categories, including:

GSMAA Leadership

Directors identify goals annually that support the mission of the GSMAA. Directors participate in the recruitment and cultivation of a diverse, representative board that will continue to drive positive change for the GSM community and serve as an advisory arm to the School’s administration.

Strengthening Our Network

Enabling professional development opportunities and cultivating relationships among alumni, students and the School advancement is central to the board’s mission. There are a variety of activities that also support these goals, like conducting mock interviews, mentoring, identifying internships and career positions for our students, and making informal connections. Directors are expected to pursue as many of these as is practical.


A key part of any nonprofit board is fundraising, and the GSMAA board is no exception. Alumni participation in fundraising affects rankings and enables the School’s development goals. Board members help identify and cultivate potential donors, business partners and event sponsors. Board members are expected to give or facilitate gifts of at least $1,000 per year. To become a top 25 institution, the GSM must raise more funds from alumni and all members of the GSM community.


Board members are expected to routinely participate in activities sponsored by the School and its students. Alumni participation in events demonstrates an on-going commitment to and interest in the School and UC Davis MBA students, and sends a powerful message to donors. As a director, you are asked to attend events, encourage alumni attendance and recruit alumni to stay engaged with the School.

Directors also lead the annual distinguished alumni awards and student fellowship processes. In addition, directors have performed alumni surveys, benchmarking analysis of other boards, and enabled new approaches to social networking.  Directors are expected to identify new opportunities and strategies that support the board’s mission and spearhead these efforts, using alumni volunteers and GSM staff where needed.

Directors meet quarterly to review activities and issues and take actions. Between meetings, directors manage initiatives that support the goals and operations of the board. Although time commitments may vary significantly (depending on the chosen activities), directors typically spend an average of six hours per month outside of board meetings.

The board consists of approximately 12 positions, including a president, a vice president, past-president, secretary and directors. Directors select committees they will lead and for which they can develop strategies with the aid of other GSMAA stakeholders. During their terms, directors are expected to chair at least one committee or lead an initiative, typically, no more than one per year. Directors serve a three-year term and, if interested, may be invited to extend their membership for up to two one-year extensions, ratified by the board. Board presidents are expected to remain on the board as the past-president for at least one year beyond the term of their presidency. This enables greater continuity among the board, but means board presidents will serve approximately five years.

Directors of the GSMAA are rewarded with the opportunity to drive positive change, a sense of accomplishment, and a stronger more diverse professional and personal network. If you are interested in learning more about being a director on the board, please contact Director of Development & Alumni Relations Mary Maffly.