The first meeting on Gujarat Technological University Alumni Association (GTUAA) was convened on 2nd January, 2012 at GTU’s Gandhinagar campus, E-4, K-6 Circle, G.I.D.C. Electronics Estate, Sector -26, Near Gandhinagar Polytechnic, (Old GNLU Campus), Gandhinagar- 382 010.
In the meeting many Principals/Directors, Deans and more than 25 senior teaching faculty members were present.
In the beginning, Dr. K. N. Sheth welcomed all the members and requested Dr. Akshai Aggarwal, Dr. Junare, Dr. M. M. Patel, Dr. Rupesh Vasani and Dr. Vikram Patel to join for Deep Pragtayam.
Dr. K. N. Sheth then requested Dr. Akshai Aggarwal , Vice chancellor, Gujarat Technological University for key note address on the constitution of Alumni Association.
Dr. Aggarwal stated that Alumni Associations play crucial role for the growth and prosperity of the University. All the world class universities have effective engagements with Alumni and Alumni Associations. Dr. Aggarwal further stated that alumni receive regular emails from the university, alumni association and maintain a vibrant link between association and alumni. Alumni are ambassadors in the society and industry scattered over the world. University must utilize the strength of alumni, who can best energize the University with new idea, feedback on design of courses, promote industrial contact, interaction and thereby industrial research. Such association may help training students, placement and fund raising. He then explained how American Universities generate revenue from their alumni.
Dr. Aggrawal advised to learn the service approach and cultivate habit of continuous excellence from successful alumni associations. He reminded of Sir Ratan Tata’s financial contribution to IIM and huge payment made by Government to British Universities to establish alumni.
He concluded with strong recommendation to keep focus on formation of alumni association and assuring the alumni about our service approach.
Dr. K. N. Sheth added that that Wisconsin Alumni research foundation which is a leading agency of USA has contributed more than 1 billion dollars to the university.
This session was then handed over to Dr. K. N. Sheth, Dean- Advancement, Alumni affairs and Interdisciplinary Research and Director of Faculty of Engineering and Management, SSES, Rajpur.
In the beginning, Dr. K. N. Sheth stated that all the aspects of constitution of Alumni Association as explained by Dr. Akshai Aggarwal have been considered in his presentation for interaction with all the members present. In the beginning, Dr. K. N. Sheth stimulated the members by showing the proposed logo of GTU Alumni Association and important quote as under:
“Coming together is a beginning, keeping together is a progress and working together is a success.”
He introduced the Alumni as the Ambassadors of the University scattered all over the world. They have a great kinetic energy which can be strategically planned to tap by creating network of all alumni. Alumni Association can play a crucial role in making GTU a World class University by its effective governance in future. Alumni Association is not only an important source of fundraising but alumni can give external support to obtain truthful feedback on design and scope of courses, to promote entrepreneurship, promote industrial research, training for the students, placement, etc. as stated by Dr. Akshai Aggarwal during his keynote address.
Explaining the broad agenda, mission and the principal objectives, he stated that GTU Alumni Association (GTUAA) is proposed to be set up as the umbrella organization for all colleges affiliated to GTU. The Mission statement of GTUAA was read as under:
- Provide a vibrant forum that promotes interaction and networking among alumni of the Institute
- Help alumni achieve their professional goals,
- Facilitate the association of alumni with their Alma Mater, and
- Contribute to the University’s vision of being recognized among the world's leading institutions in academics, research excellence and innovation.
The vision statement as given by Dr. K. N. Sheth for GTUAA is
The GTUAA aims to link the alumni to the institutions affiliated to it, develop synergistic plans to support the institutions and achieve its mission, and to enable the institutes to add value to all its stakeholders through the membership of GTUAA.
Dr. K. N. Sheth broadly stated the essential purposes of formation of GTU Alumni Association as under:
- To foster a spirit of loyalty in the Alumni both for GTU and the graduating Institute
- To promote the general welfare of GTU
- To support the parent organization’s goals
- To strengthen the ties between alumni, the community, and the parent organization
- To build and sustain and strengthen a lifelong relationship between the University and its alumni through various cultural and social activities
Dr. K. N. Sheth said that in the Theme paper uploaded by the University, the agenda items proposed to be discussed in today’s meeting have been delineated as under:
- To discuss the feasibility of starting Alumni Association
- To determine appropriate plans to move forward and chart the procedures which may include:
- Identifying the Core group of immense interest in alumni matters amongst the University/Institute level
- Finalization of aims and objectives of GTUAA
- Formalization of GTUAA
- Constituting the Advisory and Executive Council for GTUAA
- Identifying distinguishing Alumni
- Membership fees and photo identity card/ minimum members to begin with
- Preparing for First GTU Meet
- Developing web space for the department of Alumni Relations
While discussing the first agenda item, “To discuss the feasibility of starting Alumni Association”, Dr. K. N. Sheth stated that following are the issues:
- Who should be included?
- What about the institutions established prior to GTU and now affiliated to GTU?
- Whether the alumni will be interested in also having membership of GTU Alumni Association?
Dr. Akshai Aggarwal responded to all these issues by saying that the Engineering college of Roorki established date back. However, Government promoted these institutes as IIT. All the Alumni of Engineering College then joined IITs. Similarly institutes set up earlier to GTU may join GTU Alumni Association or we may provide link in the website and the website should include Event calendar, Career explorations, Scholarships and Awards.
Then discussion on next agenda item “To determine appropriate plans to move forward and chart the procedures” had taken place. Dr. K. N. Sheth stated that we need to identify the Core group of immense interest in alumni matters amongst the University/Institute level. It was a concern of both VC Sir and Dean that support from Senior persons is not available. He then said that the core group must have requisite characteristics such as
- Willingness to work with the University
- Willingness to contribute time
- Enthusiasm to perform the work
- Ability to motivate and engage alumni
- Create interest amongst alumni and friends of GTU to participate in the association’s activities.
Briefly Dr. K. N. Sheth said that the core group should be enthusiastic and willing personnel to take on the GTU initiative and sustain it.
The third agenda item “Formalization of GTUAA” was meticulously interacted in the meeting. Dr. Rupesh Vasani informed the members that he has been office bearer in DDU Alumni Association since last 16 years. He stated that the Organization structure of DDUAA is headed by Secretary, Executive committee and DDU Alumni Association has many local chapters. In his response, Dr. Aggarwal suggested that GTU Alumni Association should also have local chapters from the beginning itself including chapters of Alumni Association in other States.
Dr. M. M. Patel, Principal of Kalol Institute Pharmaceutical Education and Research suggested that there should be members from the alumni as well as faculty members. In response to Dr. M. M. Patel, Dr. K. N. Sheth had shown the proposed Organizational Structure of GTU Alumni Association.
Dr. K. N. Sheth said that the step in finalization is Constitution of Executive committee, (i.e., Advisory body not by election.)
- Vice Chancellor-1(President)
- Director-1 (Vice-President)
- Dean (Alumni Affairs)-1 (Member Secretary)
- Registrar-1 (Joint - Secretary)
- Dean of constituent zone -5x5 (Members) (useful when we go for expansion / for local chapters)
The structure of the Office bearer of Alumni Association shall be by election once in three years for the four important posts and the elected memebers shall be called as ‘office bearers’.
- Vice Chairman
- General Secretary
Agenda item on ‘Identifying distinguishing Alumni’ was discussed. It was decided that in the website of GTUAA link may provided for other Alumni Association. Such distinguishing Alumni can be identified by the institutions having large Alumni. The members of such association will sue moto become members of GTUAA by paying nominal subscription fees as may be decided at the appropriate time.
As regards agenda item “Membership fees and photo identity card/ minimum members to begin with” issues to be tackled as stated by Dr. K. N. Sheth were
1.Creating huge data base and
He then raised question as to whether the work should be outsourced or establish by our own set up. Dr. Aggarwal, suggested that voluntarily someone from us should design the website, domain can be hired. Meanwhile some space can be allotted in GTU website to begin with. Dr. K. N. Sheth was advised to contact Himanshu or programmer of the University for the same.
Dr. K. N. Sheth suggested that the nominal fees called as subscription fees should be charged for Life Membership – Rs 4000/- or $80, Annual membership- Rs 500/ or $ 10, (50% goes to parent body only after 3 years for capital formation), Separate Account may be opened by CAO (to accept cheques / DDs in favour of GTU Alumni Association), Accounts auditable independently or by GTU body. This issue was discussed at the greater length.
Dr. M. M. Patel suggested that there can be different categories of membership like Associate membership, Patron membership and membership to invited bodies for constituting the office bearer of the Alumni Association, Dr. M. M. Patel suggested that in these categories of membership two members from associate, 2 for patron and 10 from life membership can be elected as Office bearers every three years.
Dr. M. M. Patel also suggested that the membership certificate should be issued by the GTUAA giving details of the year of passing, course taken up by Alumni, etc. In response to this Dr. K. N. Sheth suggested that someone should meet last year pass out students. VC Sir also suggested the same.
Further as regards Subscription fees it was suggested that Rs. 4000/- Subscription fees will be very high and there should not be Life membership and Annual membership. Dr. Vikram Patel, Principal of Shankarsinh Vaghela College suggested that there should be only one time fee for the Alumni. Prof. C.R. Trivedi of SSPC, Visnagar wanted to know as to the membership fees will be the same for Diploma, Degree, PG and Ph.D. Dr. Rupesh Vasani, however, suggested that the subscription fees for all the Alumni should be the same. As regards collection of subscription fees, the members had shown concern as to at what point of time the fees should be collected and weather the existing alumni of the institute will have to pay separate fees to become university Alumni.
Dr. Aggarwal stated that GTUAA is a legal entity and the Alumni of the institute automatically becomes Alumni of GTUAA. It was suggested by Dr. Rupesh Vasani that the Institute can charge the Alumni fees while collecting the University registration fee. However, Dr. Junare, Dean of Faculty of Management and Director of NICM stated that it will not be possible to do so because the approval from the Fee Regulation Committee is required. Dr. K. N. Sheth suggested that the fees should not be collected by any of the Institute, it should be collected by GTU.
Dr. Akshai Aggarwal, however, suggested that a nominal one time fees of Rs. 500/- as suggested by Prof. D. G. Panchal can be collected at the time of Convocation.
Next important agenda item was Registration and legal formalities for discussion was brought by Dr. K. N. Sheth, Director, Faculty of Engineering and Faculty of Management, SSES. He said that for completion of legal formalities we must finalize legal documents by studying sample documents of other Alumni Associations which may include:
- Officers; duties and powers of officers
- Regular committees; duties and functions of committees
- Meetings and programs; general timing of meetings
- Dues; members to association, control of funds
- Scholarship and fellowship funds, control and operation
- Communication - regular; content and timing of newsletters
- Major activities and work projects; chapter assistance, social functions, traditionally-sponsored events
Other issues discussed where, “Venue for Registered office. In this context, Dr. Akshai Aggarval immediately said that sufficient space is proposed to be allotted for GTU Alumni Association in the new building of GTU at Chandkheda.
The next issues of framing the bye-laws (more specifics on dues, fines, elections, amendments, and deciding setting of objectives of the proposed organization.
To these issues Dr. Aggarval suggested that the Core committee must begin with the process of creating by-laws and constitution.
Dr. K. N. Sheth enumerated the duties to be performed by core group during his presentation as under:
• Data base creation
• Legal activities like - Registration of Association as an organization of GTU includes deciding & legally Setting of objectives of the proposed organization
• Finance activities- collection of fees opening account
• Encouraging & Strengthening Activities
Dr. K. N. Sheth suggested that we should design first launch event. The first meet could be in February when we have our VC and Dignitaries present in the event. Explaining the significance of the first meet Dr. K. N. Sheth stated that
• This meeting is crucial. If the alumni can see results, they will continue to serve on the Alumni Association.
• Other alums and new contacts who could not attend the first meeting should receive invitations through the mail.
• The Association by-laws should be adopted at this meeting as well. It is also important that the chapter officers attend this meeting.
• The meeting should serve to orientate first-time alumni attendees
He then suggested that immediately we must prepare for the first launch including but not limited to:
• News letter
• Issuance of Photo identity cards
• Designing &Printing official stationary
• Initially University may at least give independent earmarked Space for GTUAA office, other facilities, appoint part time or full time Assistants to Dean (Alumni matters) who may help the committees and be contact person in our Alumni office as all the times Dean Alumni Affairs may not available in the office of GTUAA.
Dr. K. N. Sheth briefly explained the need for the office for performing many important activities like
• Postcards/Flyers (to promote special events – ballgames, golf outings, etc.)
• Association Directory
• Web: on line alumni community social networks (e.g. Face book, Twitter), e-mail blasting
• Keep accurate records
• Maintain a data base of alumni names, addresses, contact details
Dr. K. N. Sheth then had engrossed the tasks before core groups of GTU Alumni Association as under:
Task 1. Forming interested Alumni group by meeting informally with alums to obtain names
• Obtaining a zonal wise listing of members from zonal offices
• Telephone and personally meet with alums
• Directly asking for their participation in starting the association
Task 2. 1st Communication by core group
A letter should be mailed (or a message sent) to all alumni, introducing them to our leader Dr Akshai Aggarwal sir and achievement of GTU, requesting them to update their contact information, and inquiring if there are any interested volunteers for the committee
Task 3. Getting alumni Organized by calling for a meeting
• A meeting should be convened of interested alumni to agree upon the association’s objectives and form a committee. A sample agenda might include:
• Review general concepts and goals of the Alumni/Alumnae Association
• Outline Alumni/Alumnae Association functions
A. Communication (newsletters, mailings, directories, etc.)
C. Fund raising
D. Scholarships and fellowships
E. Assistance in Alumni/Alumnae coordinator programming
• Identify short and long term needs
The next activity of the core group is the follow-up of meeting/event, i.e., A launch event should be organized with broad appeal to attract as many alumni as possible, preferably when a VC of the GTU is available to attend.
The most important activity for Core group is to look for “Financing an Alumni Association”. Dr. K. N. Sheth said that the question of financing can be a major obstacle for a new Alumni Association. Generally, finances for an Alumni/Alumnae Association can be provided in three different ways:
- By an annual dues program for Association members
- By contributions received by alums for a specific Association program
- By a combination of the above methods
Other financial considerations he discussed were:
- Capital Fund Raising Campaigns
- Association-Sponsored Scholarships
He then said that we can give GTU Alumni Awards to alumni who make annual gift to GTU in grateful acknowledgement of their financial support and its mission.
Dr. Akshai Aggarwal stated that initially the finances will have to be arranged by GTU. From the next year the subscription fees of Rs. 500/- for GTUAA can be collected by constituent colleges along with Convocation fees. He said that the fund raising is not the objective of GTUAA. GTU may render the support as necessary in capital formation for three years initially.
The last but not the least important issue “Development of Alumni web site” was discussed widely. Many suggestions came forth which were however narrated in the presentation of Dr. K. N. Sheth including:,
- Personal information of Alumni (go on adding current students)
- On line services – E mail & more- log on for search for “your classmates”
- News letters
- Other alumni groups (connecting links)
- Event calendars – Alumni can assist in career exploration offer scholarships and small awards each year
- Job opportunities/ career net work
- Link face book page, follow up on twitter and joining our liked in groups
On behalf of Prof. Vasani, Principal of L. E. College of Morbi, Prof. D. G. Panchal had given several suggestions. However, he stated that many of them have been incorporated in the presentation given by Dr. K. N. Sheth. Few suggestions which were not focused were then suggested by him.
1. Money transfer and payment for Alumni Association should be online. The GTUAA should have zone wise centers. Vice Chancellor Sir advised Dr. K. N. Sheth to appoint few Principals to take care of Zonal chapters.
2. The alumni should be contacted frequently over the telephone and frequent personal meet should be organized with the Alumni.
3. Any event on Alumni Association should always be informed to Principals of University.
The Core Committee was formed by the Vice Chancellor as under:
- Dr. M. N. Patel – Director and Dr. K. N. Sheth, Dean to head the committee
- Dr. Junare, Director of NICM and Dean of Faculty of Management, Gandhinagar Zone
- Dr. Rupesh Vasani, Principal of Sal Institute and Dean of Ahmedabad Zone
- Dr. M. M. Patel, Principal of Kalol Institute of Pharmacy
- Dr. Maiti, Principal of L. J. College of Engineering
- Dr. Vikram Patel, Principal of Shankarsinh Vaghela College
The meeting ended with Vote of Thanks to Dr. Akshai Aggarwal, Vice Chancellor of Gujarat Technological University.