Results of the 2012 Alumni Election

Peggy Ward, PhD

We’re feeling pretty good about the results of the Alumni Council Directors election!

More people participated than last year: 6,541 in 2012 and 6,205 in 2011. The votes for the petition candidates grew markedly: an average of 47% in 2012 and an average of 34% in 2011.

Doug Wilson ‘57 and Kit Smith ‘63 split the vote 49.50% to 50.60% – Doug lost by only 77 votes.

Sean Devlin ’05 and Bart Hale ‘04 were a little farther apart: 45.24% to 54.76%, with Sean under by 607 votes.

There is still some question about voter turnout percentages. Colgate uses 32,499 alumni as the number of eligible voters, but when soliciting fundraising and reporting its donor participation rate of 42%, it uses 26,200 as the number of alumni for which there are good email or physical addresses. The Alumni Council reports there are 31,241 alumni. So depending on who many people actually received an email or mailed hardcopy, with 6,541 ballots returned, the voter turnout is somewhere between 20% or 25%.

Bottom line: Direct alumni elections at Colgate University foster debate, alumni participation, and are a legitimate use of the Alumni Council marketing budget. While the Alumni Council is not a policy-setting board, such elections get alumni and the administration into the habit of voting.

We encourage you, and any alumnus/ae whose nomination was passed over by the AC selection committee when drafting its slate, to consider running as a petition candidate in 2013 for the Alumni Council election. There’s no reason not to make every race competitive with multiple candidates.

The Alumni Council continues its call for nominations, Why haven’t they reached out to Sean Devlin and Doug Wilson, the independent candidates that received such a large number of votes from their fellow alumni?

Next: A continued push for direct alumni elections for one-third of the Board of Trustees.

Sign the petition to Trustees asking for direct elections.

Stay tuned for updates!

Peggy Ward, PhD Colgate ‘88
A Better Colgate