AADC President Jeanne M. Fox '75 
Announces Agreement with Rutgers
                                                                                                             July 20, 2016
Dear Alumnae and Friends:
After many months of mediation and negotiations, we are pleased to announce that a binding Agreement has been reached to end the dispute among the Associate Alumnae of Douglass College (AADC), the Rutgers University Foundation (RUF), Rutgers University and Douglass Residential College (DRC) regarding the AADC's status within the University. The signed Agreement will be published on the AADC website for alumnae to gain a better understanding of its terms.
The parties have agreed on the following points:
1.  Under the terms of the Agreement, the AADC remains an independent, self-funded organization serving the alumnae of the New Jersey College for Women (NJC), Douglass and Douglass Residential College (DRC).  The AADC continues as a chartered organization within the Rutgers University Alumni Association with all rights and privileges.  There are certain exceptions allowed, such as the AADC's being permitted to raise money to fund our alumnae programs and AADC operations, employing paid staff and raising money for Fellowships for post-graduate studies for Douglass alumnae. 

2.  The AADC retains the rights to use the name "Associate Alumnae of Douglass College," along with the pine tree in its current logo. 

3.  The AADC retains full fiduciary responsibility for the management of the Douglass Fund, the endowment established by the AADC in 1969 exclusively for the benefit of Douglass and her students.  The AADC will appoint individuals from the AADC Board to serve as Trustees of the Fund, which the AADC will continue to steward.  The restricted money in the endowment will be used according to each individual donor's intent as it always has been used. 

4.  All fundraising for Douglass Residential College (DRC) will now be the responsibility of DRC with support from the Rutgers University Foundation.  The AADC will no longer solicit bequests or donations for new scholarships, for the Douglass Fund or for DRC.  Donors who have questions about their established scholarships may contact the AADC, but this contact should not be construed as a solicitation by the AADC.  The AADC will be able to solicit and accept contributions for new and existing Fellowships that benefit post-graduate studies for Douglass women. 

5.  The AADC mission remains the same in its support of the College through our responsibility for the Douglass Fund.  The AADC will refocus its programs to provide new and enhanced experiences and services for alumnae, expand our networks and strive to remain a best-in-class alumnae organization.

6.  The AADC will not conduct programs specifically for DRC students.  If one of our programs or events is relevant to students, the AADC can ask the DRC Dean whether students may be invited.  There may be joint programs if the Dean and the AADC agree a program is in the best interest of the College, its students and the AADC.

7.  The AADC will continue to fund its own operations and alumnae programming through the Associate Alumnae of Douglass College Annual Appeal and through approved fundraising for certain events, programs and activities, including those organized for regional groups and affinity networks.  The AADC will be able to solicit and accept bequests and gifts that benefit the AADC.  Donations continue to be tax deductible.   The AADC will follow Rutgers' policies and industry practices on fundraising, which include the common practice of taking a gift assessment on donations to help pay for fundraising and other operations costs.

8.  The AADC will continue to operate out of the Ruth Schilling Hennessy Alumnae Center, our home on the Douglass campus.  We will pay a usage fee to Rutgers and share space in the building with another tenant.

As background, you are probably aware that on April 20, 2015, Rutgers informed the AADC that it was changing the status of our alumnae organization to be consistent with the status of other chartered organizations within the Rutgers University Alumni Association (RUAA).  This directive would have prohibited the AADC from employing paid staff, conducting student or alumnae programs or raising money for the AADC, Douglass or Rutgers.  The AADC's historic role as the primary fundraiser for Douglass had been designated in a signed 2005 agreement with the University.  That agreement was terminated unilaterally by the University in April, 2015.  The parties agreed to mediate these and other issues.  Mediation began in July, 2015, and ended in the fall, when all parties agreed to continue negotiating a settlement, which was signed today.

In order to answer any questions you may have about the outcome of the mediation/negotiation process and the future of the AADC, we are planning the following:
  • The Agreement will be available on the douglassalumnae.org website.
  • A list of Frequently Asked Questions is included with this message to provide additional details.  It will also be available on our website.
  • We will be doing briefings with many alumnae and groups, including donors, class officers, regional groups, etc., in person as well as via phone and on-line, to explain the agreement to you and to answer your questions.
  • A special mailbox has been set up to which you can direct additional questions.  It is aadcnow@douglassalumnae.org.  Please be patient as we attempt to handle the volume of inquiries that we expect to receive.
We encourage you to share this document with your classmates and sister alumnae in case they do not receive it through our e-mail distribution.  Please ask them to update their contact information via the Contact Us section on the www.douglassalumnae.org website to ensure that they receive electronic messages from us in the future.

Thank you to everyone for your support, e-mails, letters, phone calls and donations.  We want to assure you that the AADC remains strong and vital.  We appreciate the concessions made by both sides to reach a workable agreement.  We welcome this opportunity to expand our AADC programs and services to alumnae so that we can maintain and strengthen our dedicated sisterhood.  Together, the Associate Alumnae of Douglass College, Douglass Residential College, Rutgers University and the Rutgers University Foundation are deeply committed to Douglass' mission of advancing women and the unique experience the College creates for the next generation of female leaders.  The roles of each party have been clearly defined, and we are all eager to move forward in a unified manner in the best interests of Douglass Residential College, its students, its loyal alumnae and the Rutgers community.  We encourage all Douglass alumnae to stay connected with each other through the AADC and with our beloved alma mater.  Please support the AADC with your generous gifts to ensure a bright future.
Jeanne M. Fox '75
President, Associate Alumnae of Douglass College