Revision of the USTC AF Bylaws

Dear Members of the USTC AF,

We are writing you this letter to inform you of the project we are undertaking to significantly revise the bylaws of the USTC AF.

In this letter we will present you the historical background, the deficiencies of the bylaws, the problems we have encountered in the past, and the collective recommendation from the current board of directors on what the changes should be. We also would describe the procedural steps we desire to undertake to effect this revision, as well as ways you can get involved in the project and have your voice heard.

BACKGROUND

The USTC AF was founded in 1995 and incorporated in the State of Delaware in the same year. One of the founding members, Mr. ZHANG, Shangyou, wrote the original bylaws. To the best of our knowledge we did not utilize paid professional help. The bylaws had since gone though a number of revisions over the years, but had largely retained the same format. The current bylaws are available on our web site[1].

While this set of bylaws have supported our organization for more than 20 years. There are a number of obstacles that have been inhibiting factors in promoting our members participation, smooth operation, and overall rate of growth. Major deficiencies include:

1.     Lack of definition of membership

2.     Clarity on the executive structure, and delegation of authorities

3.     Clarity on board elections, as well as decision making process

The rest of this letter will explain these issues in more detail, plus a number of other smaller issues, and makes recommendation on a major revision effort for the bylaws.

PROPOSED PROCEDURES

The USTC AF board of directors (The “Board”) proposes a simple set of steps below for this project.

1.     Discussion of this issue within the current Board, this has taken place.

2.     Drafting of a document to the membership body (this letter).

3.     Review this letter by all board members, revise with board consensus.

4.     Send out this letter to the membership body, collect feedback and make adjustments.

5.     In parallel to step 3 and 4 above, engage a professional law firm to help drafting the new bylaws according to our desires laid out in this letter.

In terms of the actual bylaws text, our initial consultation with legal professionals had indicated that it is a much preferred approach to start with a clean template of typical non-profit organization, and then customize it to our needs.

In the following sections, we will discuss key aspects of our organization, how they are defined in our current bylaws, and the proposed changes.

MEMBERSHIP STRUCTURE

The USTC AF is a membership-based organization; the power of the organization ultimately rests with the membership body. The current bylaws defines a procedure whereby anybody making a donation automatically becomes a member (or an annual type or life-time type). This creates problems and confusion when: (1) A donation is made by a husband/wife pair, (2) A donation is made by an organization, and (3) the donor never desired or agreed to become a member.

As such, we believe it is in our best interest to overhaul such a non-traditional membership structure, and use one that is conventional for a non-profit organization. We will give the following instruction to our lawyer:

  • The USTC AF is a membership based organization, power over the organization rests with the membership body.
  • We offer membership on a yearly basis, to be purchased for a fee, or to be granted with a donation, subject to a membership agreement.
  • Membership dues and membership-granting donation levels are to be determined and revised by the board on an ongoing basis.
  • We will also offer “life-time membership” for the sole purpose of continuing such commitment to existing life-time members.

ORGANIZATIONAL AND CONTROL STRUCTURE

The USTC AF did not have a clear control structure defined, leading to the confusion of: (1) Who can speak for the organization, (2) how can decisions be made, (3) who has what authority? and (4) what authorities are needed to do what kind of work?

Fortunately a typical corporate legal structure (as defined by the State of Delaware) already offers a sound set of operating rules for us. All we need to do is clarifying a few things that are specific for us, and the legal professionals should be able to help us ensure that bylaws are clearly drafted to reflect them. These instructions include:

  • The membership body elects the board of directors, on an annual basis. Each year half of the directors are up for election.
  • The board of directors makes decisions for the organization in a collective manner.
  • The board of directors shall elect a chair-person of the board.
  • The board of directors MAY appoint a “president”, a “treasurer” with all finance responsibilities, and a “secretary” with all legal and compliance responsibilities.
  • The “president” is the Chief Executive of the organization. The “board chair-person” is the president if the board fails to make such an appointment.
  • The Chief Executive of the organization shall have customary authorities comparable to a typical organization, such as those over finances, personnel, communications, etc.

With organizational control structure set above, we would not need the provisions of the various non-conventional control structure in the current bylaws, including executive committees, etc.

BOARD ELECTIONS

Every year we suffer through an election crisis where we only barely make the quorum requirement as defined by the current bylaws. We have been reluctant to lower the quorum requirement because we wanted to ensure that the board does reflect the desires of the membership body. In the mean time, the lack of membership definition and procedures also hampered our ability to know how many members we are representing. In addition, our “election by email” method may not be fully compliant with our current bylaws or state laws. As such, we plan to provide the following instructions to our lawyers:

  • We shall hold regular membership meetings, as required by state law.
  • We shall provide expedient means for members to participate in such meetings, including via electronic means, and/or delegate proxy assignments before hand.
  • The quorum for such membership meetings shall be 25% as currently defined.
  • The election of board of directors shall occur at such meetings.

With election procedures defined clearly as above, we would not need any provisions in the “procedures” and “election” sections of the current bylaws.

SCOPE OF ACTIVITIES AND OPERATION

We have now finished discussion of the major issues in our current set of bylaws. What follows are a number of additional issues we hope to address in the new set of bylaws.

The current set of bylaws defines a number of things that are typically not the “basic principals” of an organization, such as all the awards we offer. Instead, we believe that a proper set of bylaws should define a clear scope of our operations, so that everyone knows clearly what we can do, and what we can not. Many times we have been requested to provide tax-deductible disaster relief, we hope the new bylaws will clearly define the criteria for requests such as these, in principle. As such, the directions we plan to give are the following:

  • The USTC AF, as an alumni foundation, defines its mission as: (1) To promote the academic and professional excellence of USTC students, faculty, and alumni; and (2) to promote the academic and cultural exchange between USTC and outside entities.
  • The USTC AF is a 501-c-3 charitable non-profit organization as approved by the IRS, in the area of promoting education. As such, The USTC AF shall not carry out any activity or operation that is outside its mission, in conflict with its own IRS 501-c-3 filings, or against relevant federal and state laws.

PROVISIONS TO REMOVE FROM BYLAWS

There are a number of sections and provisions in our current bylaws that are inadequately defined and/or observed in our regular operations. Our suggestion today is to remove them from our bylaws. This should not change anything we do, we should write up separate resolutions to guide our operations in these areas. There are many existing resolutions that do so already. These provisions include:

  • Fund Raising Campaign Guidelines
  • Expenditure Guidelines
  • Guideline for Private Scholarships
  • Guideline for Regional Subcommittees.

IN CONCLUSION

We’ve outlined our plan to significantly revise our bylaws. While this is a major step in evolution in the maturing process of our organization, it is nevertheless not due to any major changes we want to make to the organization, or any major project the board foresees in the near future that the current bylaws prohibits. The sole reason for the revision is to bring our bylaws from a home-made format to a professionally designed format, in order to facilitate our growth and prosperity in the next 20 years.

As a membership based organization, we represent your interest. Please let us know if you have any objection to our organization adopting such a new set of bylaws, and/or if you have any suggestions for the board.

Please feel free mail to:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Sincerely,

USTC AF Board of Directors

赵晗校友(0700)任中国科大校友基金会首席战略官

8月10日,中国科大校友基金会(USTC Alumni Foundation)理事会全票通过议案,设立首席战略官职务(Chief Strategy Officer,无薪志愿者)赵晗(0700/0704)将出任此职,全权主持基金会的中长期战略规划与执行,并协调基金会财务、校友关系、企业关系、秘书处等职能部门的工作。此前,他曾担任中国科大校友基金会15届理事会主席、14届理事,以及校友关系总裁、企业关系总裁与助理财务长。

赵晗校友简介:

赵晗于2007年由郑州一中考入中国科大00班,2011年毕业于少年班学院粒子物理专业,本科导师为赵政国院士;今年6月,他通过博士论文答辩,即将获得伊利诺伊大学(UIUC)凝聚态物理博士学位,其导师是美国物理学会当选主席、美国科学促进会董事Laura Greene教授(美国科学院院士、人文与科学院院士)。

2013年底,赵晗当选科大校友基金会理事,2014年底当选基金会主席,是科大迄今为止的唯一一位以在读学生身份当选的校友基金会主席。其在任内,积极推动校友基金会的改革,实现了行政管理与理事会间的独立,深化了与各地校友组织的联系与合作,以及启动了科大飞跃申请、校友服务、校友职业发展等一系列全新项目。

在加入校友基金会前,赵晗曾任中国科大-伊利诺伊大学校友会会长,中国科大-郑州一中校友会会长,少年班学院第一届(10级)创新试点班副班主任。他也是科大学生假期返校宣传、招生志愿者制度、社会实践学分等政策的提出者与推动者之一,并于2011年创立中国科大招生志愿者协会(招生工作志愿者服务队)及担任2011年度中国科大高考招生志愿者全国总负责人。2014-2015年,他曾担任伊利诺伊大学(UIUC)工程学院研究生顾问委员会委员及国际学生事务专项委员会负责人。

中国科大2015“爱心助学金”募捐启动

Goodwill Award(爱心助学金,简称 GW)由中国科大校友基金会(USTC Alumni Foundation 简称USTC AF,或AF)于上世纪末首创并成功运作至今,是中国高校中最早的爱心助学金Goodwill1999年至2014年总共资助约642位同学,受助总人次约2189人次,总计发放爱心助学金逾500万人民币,目前正在进行资助的有153位同学。

 

我们已经收到了校学生处报送的40名待资助的2015届新生的名单.

 

如果您有意捐助,请从待资助学生列表里 (http://www.ustcaf.org/zh/awards/gw/280-goodwill-2015-candidates,点击序号可以查阅详细学生资料) 选择您的候选人,然后联络AFGW 工作组(This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.),或回复AF manager 周为民This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ),我们会与您跟进后续进程。


爱心一加一是一个连续四年的捐赠项目(每年RMB 3000,四年共计RMB 12000);如果您的预算不足以认捐一名同学,可以捐赠任意金额至名为GW子基金( 操作链接为 http://gw.ustc.global/gw/donation/ ),用以支持特别助学金”(说明附后)与校友爱心社的活动;如果您暂时无力捐赠,也可以转发给您身边的朋友,一个转发一份心意,我们感谢您的爱心传递!

 

Together, we make a difference!

 

 

 


 

 

附:特别助学金简介与募捐


为了照顾部分极度贫困的学子、激励学生学习、引导学生更多的从事爱心类活动,理事会今年决议在爱心助学金 1+1”的基础上设立特别助学金。如果该同学当年特别贫困 + 学业特别优秀 + 特别热衷爱心公益活动,我们将把当年的资助从3000元提升至5000元。特别助学金的发放为一次性,提升的2000RMB将从GW子基金拨款。

 

校友基金会郑重承诺:爱心助学金项目的所有捐赠额将100%进入学生手中,不产生任何行政费用。

 

如何捐赠:直接捐任意金额至GW子基金

捐赠链接:http://gw.ustc.global/gw/donation/

中国科大校友基金会(USTCAF)全新捐赠通道上线

各位校友:

大家好。我们有一条消息在这里很兴奋地向大家宣布。

4月16日,中国科大校友基金会(USTCAF)正式推出全新的捐款网站(https://give.ustc.global),美元捐赠更加便捷(电子化自动处理),首次开通人民币、比特币在线捐赠通道,并同时开始接受英镑、日元、欧元、澳元等所有主要货币的在线捐赠。

中国科大校友车贴发放量突破5500份!(及校友疑问解答)

2015年底,中国科大校友基金会(USTCAF)布2016版科大校友车贴,截至2016年1月12日,不到两个星期内已经发出5500份,美国Champaign IL,St. Louis MO,San Jose CA;中国深圳4大分发中心数位志愿者“日夜兼程”填信封,贴邮票,取得了车贴发役第一段的胜利。

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