RAA Annual Meeting

Dear RPI Alumni,

In this letter, we bring good news for all RPI alumni.

  1. An improved set of proposed RAA Bylaws has been successfully negotiated, and;
  2. We have updated our website and have included a new, forward-looking section.

It took a concerted effort by Renew Rensselaer spanning several years–together with a strong willingness to collaborate on the part of the current RAA leadership–to craft the proposed Bylaws. We greatly appreciate the spirit of cooperation and teamwork the RAA has demonstrated. While neither party received everything they thought would be beneficial, both Renew Rensselaer and the RAA were willing to compromise in good faith to resolve the major issues keeping the RAA from being a member-driven organization.

We and the RAA leadership believe the Amended and Restated RAA Bylaws signal a new beginning for both the RAA and alumni support for RPI. On July 1st we will welcome the Institute’s new president, Dr. Martin Schmidt. With an invigorated RAA and Dr. Schmidt’s leadership, we have growing confidence that RPI will achieve even greater success and prominence in its third century.

Vote for the New RAA Bylaws

Since last fall, the leaders of Renew Rensselaer have worked closely with the leadership of the RAA to draft new Bylaws which will strike a more appropriate balance between the rights of the members and the authority of the Board. We believe we have achieved this goal and, therefore, we recommend that all alumni vote to adopt the Amended and Restated RAA Bylaws as part of the upcoming RAA Annual Meeting on June 17th.

Note that online proxy voting for the proposed Bylaws and election of new Board members will begin on or about June 3rd. A two-thirds (66.7%) majority is required for adoption of the proposed Bylaws. This is the first step we all can take in a show of unity and support for our alma mater.

Noteworthy enhancements to the RAA Bylaws include:

  • A process for alumni seeking to run for the Board to petition their way onto the ballot if they are not selected as a nominee through the regular selection process;
  • The right for 250 members to place a topic on the agenda for the Annual Meeting;
  • A reasonable threshold of 250 signatures for members to call a Special Meeting following consultation with the Board, and;
  • A requirement that any future amendments to the Bylaws receive a two-thirds (66.7%) vote of approval by RAA members, as well as by the Board.

Visit the Updated Renew Rensselaer Website

The Renew Rensselaer website has been revised and updated with an eye toward the future. The main section has been replaced with a new one entitled “The Road Ahead.” We recommend that alumni read the entire website. In the new, forward-looking section, we examine the financial and demographic challenges that lie ahead for the higher education sector.

In addition, it explains why the RPI Administration and Board of Trustees should adopt the remaining planks of the Renew Rensselaer Platform–in particular those regarding policies of shared governance. We believe that implementation of our platform will help rebuild student, faculty, and alumni trust in and support for our alma mater, thus establishing a firmer foundation for its success in its third century. We will continue to lobby for the policies espoused in our platform as we believe they serve the long-term interests of the Institute.

We thank those of you who have supported our continued efforts, and encourage you to register for the upcoming RAA Annual Meeting and vote in favor of the proposed RAA Bylaws.

Renew Rensselaer