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Trustee Election Background Information for Prospective Candidates

Indiana University Libraries
Library Administration
Office of the Dean

  1. Introduction
  2. Residency Requirements
  3. Any IU graduate can run for trustee
  4. Election Packets
  5. Election Petitions
  6. Nominations and Petitions are Due April 1
  7. Submitting Packets Electronically
  8. Biographical Statements
  9. Media Coverage
  10. Indiana University Alumni Magazine Profiles
  11. Endorsements, Publicity, and Campaigning
  12. Mailing Lists
  13. The Ballot Envelope
  14. The Ballot
  15. The Election
  16. Term of Office
  17. Contact Us


The Indiana University Trustee Election is governed by Chapter 3 of Article 20 (higher education) of the Indiana State Code. It can be viewed here. According to the statute, the Dean of University Libraries on the Bloomington campus is responsible for preparing, sending out, and collecting nomination packets, and for preparing, receiving, verifying, and safeguarding the ballots until the day of the election. On Election Day, the librarian counts the ballots.

Residency Requirements

State law (IC 21-20-3-3) says that not more than one alumni-elected trustee and/or two governor appointees may live in the same county. The law also pertains to candidates living outside of Indiana. This statute specifically exempts the student trustee appointed by the governor.

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Any IU Graduate Can Run for Trustee

State law (IC 21-20-3-5) states that elected members of the Board of Trustees must hold a degree from Indiana University. Individuals who attended classes, but did not graduate, or who hold certificates, but not diplomas, are ineligible to run. One does not have to be a member of the Indiana University Alumni Association to run.

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Election Packets

Any individual wishing to run for trustee will receive a packet containing petition forms, the previous year's candidate statements, and background information.

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Election Petitions

All candidates must obtain the signatures of 200 alumni, according to IC 21-20-3-7. Again, all signers must be graduates of Indiana University.

Signers are not required to be members of the Indiana University Alumni Association but are asked to have their current information on file with the IUAA's alumni database. Alumni may update their records by calling Alumni Records, 812-855-9895 or visiting IUAA staff members use the last four digits of an alum's Social Security number to validate petition signatures. Grads who have changed their names are asked to sign their current name and to print the name they graduated under.

Alums can sign petitions for more than one candidate and can sign their own petition if seeking the office themselves.

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Nominations and Petitions are Due April 1

Applications and petitions must be in hand at the office of the Ruth Lilly Dean of University Libraries on the Bloomington campus by 5 p.m. on April 1. This office is located in the Herman B Wells Library, Room 234. No exceptions are permitted.

If you are in danger of missing the application deadline, you may fax the documents to the Election Coordinator at 812-855-2576 by 5 p.m. on April 1. However, the original documents must be provided within 24 hours by overnight mail. If the originals do not arrive, your petition will not be validated.

Photocopied applications and petitions will not be accepted under any circumstances.

Having trouble collecting signatures in other regions or states? You can mail or fax a copy of the signature petition to friends or colleagues and ask them to fill it out and return it to you in the mail.

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Submitting Packets Electronically

Unlike the signature petition, electronic copies of your photograph and candidate's statement for both the printed ballot and election website may be sent to the alumni trustee election coordinator at . However, it is best to follow up with hard copies to avoid potential problems with electronic mail.

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Biographical Statements

All candidates are asked to supply a photograph and biographical sketch. Neither is required, but they are published in a brochure that accompanies the ballot and are posted on the election website. Failure to include them could put you at a disadvantage in regard to the candidates who do supply them.

Ballot statements are limited to 300 words. Candidates may submit a longer statement — 800 words maximum — for posting on the official election website. Candidates may also create their own websites and include on them material of any length.

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Media Coverage

There is widespread interest in the election, and the press is always interested in who is seeking a spot on the board. Indiana University is a public institution, and the Board of Trustees must abide by state open-door and open-records laws, which define "public record" very broadly. The names of trustee candidates are considered public information and will be released. All documents the university receives, including letters seeking to obtain election packets, and the packets themselves, become public information.

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Indiana University Alumni Magazine Profiles

All candidates will receive a packet from the Indiana University Alumni Magazine seeking information to publish in the Summer issue of the magazine. This packet is not to be confused with the one that the Libraries send out. These are separate packets with different requirements and different uses.

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Endorsements, Publicity, and Campaigning

Neither the Alumni Association nor any alumni chapter, constituent society, or affiliate group may endorse an individual candidate or contribute money in support of a campaign.

Alumni newsletters may not run an article about a candidate if the article does not prominently mention the names of all the other candidates.

School and department newsletters may not run articles about a single candidate, and schools and departments may not provide candidates with contact information for departmental alumni nor send messages on a candidate's behalf.

Candidates may not use the University Seal or the block IU in printed materials or on a campaign website. Use of all copyrighted IU seals, logos, and wordmarks is prohibited.

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Mailing Lists

All candidates must assemble their own mailing lists. It is against IU policy for the university, the IU Libraries, the Alumni Association, or any alumni chapter, constituent society, or affiliate group, to provide alumni postal and email addresses and other such lists to candidates or their supporters. Alumni addresses are available in several public documents, and any candidate may use them.

The university cannot prevent candidates from sending campaign material to alumni using postal or electronic addresses they have compiled themselves.

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The Ballot Envelope

Every year, questions arise about the requirement that alumni sign the outside of the ballot envelope. It's all about a voter's right to privacy versus the necessity of confirming that only qualified voters (IU grads) are participating in the election. IC 21-20-3-9 requires that "ballots and the containers in which the ballots are submitted" must be designed so that the librarian may confirm whether voters are eligible to vote without knowing for whom they voted. Since a signature is a required part of the validation process, this means the signature must be visible on the outside of the ballot envelope and not on the ballot itself.

Voters who are concerned about identity theft may either vote online or enclose their signed ballot envelope within another envelope and mail it back to us.

Unique ID numbers are used to prevent duplicate votes. Every ballot, whether paper or electronic, has a unique ID number associated with it. As the ballots are returned, these numbers are scanned into a database that verifies the sender. If someone tries to mail in a duplicate ballot, the system will reject it.

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The Ballot

Alumni may vote via paper ballot or online.

Once a paper ballot is mailed or an electronic ballot submitted, it cannot be modified or withdrawn. Voters who choose to vote online must take additional care when submitting their vote. Once the online "Vote" button is selected, the vote is cast.

Paper ballots will be mailed no earlier than two weeks prior to the start of the election in order to reach alumni.

Replacement ballots are available by contacting the alumni trustee election coordinator at or 812-855-6610.

If two alumni share the same address, we can send paper ballots to the same address upon request.

A confirmed candidate cannot be removed from the ballot. State law does not give the university the authority to remove a candidate from the ballot for any reason.

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The Election

Only graduates of Indiana University may vote in the trustee election. (See IC 21-20-3-4 and IC 21-20-3-6.)

Ballots are counted in the Herman B Wells Library on June 30, unless that date falls on a Sunday, in which case the election will be held on the day before (Saturday, June 29). Polls close at 11 a.m. ET Candidates may attend the counting or send a representative. Official results are announced after the final tally on Election Day.

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Term of Office

The successful candidate will begin his or her three-year term on the July 1 immediately following the election. This term will end on June 30 of his or her third year in office.

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Contact Us

If you have additional questions, or would like clarification of any information supplied herein, please contact the alumni trustee election coordinator at or 812-855-6610.

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