Message from AADC President Jeanne M. Fox '75
September 1, 2015
 
Dear Alumnae and Friends of the AADC,
 
        For over 40 years, the Associate Alumnae of Douglass College has been proud to fund and work in collaboration with Douglass on the annual Extern Program, a signature program for Douglass women.  This award-winning program was created by the late Adelaide Marcus Zagoren '40, the former Executive Director of the AADC.  It enables hundreds of Douglass students to spend a week or two "trying on a career" during an in-depth mentoring program that matches a student with a Douglass alumna whose career most closely meets the student's career goals.  Our pioneering program, one of the largest in the nation, provides a unique experience where the student is able to work with the alumna whom she is shadowing and learn more about her life both on and off the job.  

            Several weeks ago, the AADC contacted DRC Dean Jacquelyn Litt regarding preparations for the 2015-16 academic year Extern Program.  Despite the fact that the AADC has historically funded and collaborated with the College on this program, Dean Litt never responded to our request to move forward with the Extern Program jointly -- as Douglass and the AADC have done for over four decades.  

            Instead, Dean Litt sent out a letter to Douglass alumnae on August 31 (click here to view) announcing a "new" program and seeking their participation as "site mentors," entirely bypassing the AADC and ignoring our letter seeking guidance on coordination.  Please see the correspondence (click here to view) from our executive director, Valerie Anderson '81, to Dean Litt and Dean Litt's subsequent letter to alumnae, which ignores the AADC's request and fails to acknowledge our role in creating, funding and supporting this historic and successful program.  The program requires countless hours of volunteer time to recruit sponsors and interview students to provide the best and most appropriate match.

            You might question the benefit of scrapping a 40-year old, award-winning program that has consistently delivered an outstanding experience to Douglass students by replacing it with a program run in conjunction with Rutgers Career Services.  Will this program, which says it will connect students with Douglass and Rutgers alumnae/alumni, be run exclusively for Douglass women in the future?

            It has been implied that potential lack of alumnae support will hurt the students.  It is not the AADC that is pulling support from the students.  The AADC was prepared to provide volunteer staff, fund and work with the College on the Extern Program and other programs for students as usual.  Now, this new program supplants our outstanding Extern Program.  We were neither consulted on nor informed of this new approach.      

            As you know, the AADC is currently in mediation with Rutgers University and the Rutgers University Foundation regarding outstanding issues.  To completely disregard the heritage and success of this program, while mediation continues, shows a blatant disregard for the alumnae and students who annually benefit from the experience.  We look forward to a successful resolution of all issues in mediation, so that the AADC can continue to work with alumnae and students on the Extern Program and other programs in which the AADC has taken part or created during its nearly-century long existence.
          
Sincerely,
 
Jeanne M. Fox '75
President, Associate Alumnae of Douglass College