Having a Ross faculty member speak at a club event is one of the Ross Alumni Clubs’ most frequent requests.
Based upon Ross faculty members’ input, as well as the budget limitations of the Office of Engagement the formal channel for connecting faculty with regional alumni clubs is an opt-in process in which:
- Faculty members provide the Ross Alumni Engagement Office with their already-established travel schedules (and choose whether to do so in the first place, though our office strongly encourages it). At present, these travel schedules often revolve around MAP project travel and other class treks.
- The Alumni Relations Office will evaluate the opportunities for participating faculty members to connect with alums/alumni clubs in the locations to which the faculty are traveling during the time they will be there, and will proceed in facilitating those connections.
In the majority of cases, faculty will not be taking requests from clubs for special travel to a specific region, and have requested that club members do not email/cold call them directly. Instead, we encourage alumni clubs to be proactive in taking advantage of a faculty member’s travel to their region to plan an event if they believe it will be of benefit to local alumni.
On Faculty Travel Costs
In the few cases that we believe a faculty member might be open to traveling to a region who is not otherwise scheduled to travel to that area — or if a club with personal connections to a faculty member reaches out to them directly — the alumni club must be prepared to assume the full cost of the faculty’s travel, lodging, meal, and (sometimes) speaking expenses. This can come out to hundreds if not thousands of dollars.
As a result, faculty are requested to reach out to the Office of Alumni Engagement when they are traveling so that our office/the alumni clubs don’t carry the cost of travel. If the faculty member is already traveling on University Business or for a paying client, they should not get reimbursement from an alumni club. It is reasonable, however, for a club to potentially pay the cost of an extra night’s hotel stay or a meal if that is required.
Alumni Volunteer Speakers
To save on speaker costs, we encourage clubs to get creative about recruiting local speakers with a University of Michigan affiliation, such as Ross or broader University of Michigan alumni who are experts in their fields, or even alumni from Michigan Ross’s doctoral program who may now be faculty members at a local higher education institution.
Generally speaking, there should be no fees, and no question of fees, for an alumni speaker’s participation in or travel to an alumni club event. We never compensate alumni for these purposes and it is implied that they are traveling on their own time. Volunteer alumni speakers may be offered lunch or dinner, if the club desires, or a small token gift. Your thanks are enough, along with a good amount of advertising!
The Office of Alumni Engagement can support you in the identification of potential local alumni speakers, and in making introductions to potential alumni speakers — please email us at MiRossAlumniClubs@umich.edu.