Trustee Election Guidelines

The Indiana University trustee election is governed by Chapter 3 of Article 20 (higher education) of the Indiana State Code. The IU Alumni Association manages the trustee election under the direction of the IU Dean of Libraries.

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 and their designees count the ballots.


Candidate Eligibility

Indiana law (IC 21-20-3-5) states that elected members of the IU 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.

State law (IC 21-20-3-3) states that no more than one (1) alumni-elected trustee and/or two (2) governor appointees may live in the same county in Indiana. The law also pertains to candidates living outside of Indiana. This statute specifically exempts the student trustee appointed by the governor.

All candidates must obtain the signatures of two hundred (200) alumni, according to IC 21-20-3-7. To verify their graduate status, each signee must provide date of birth, last 4 digits of their social security number, full name at graduation, year of graduation, and degree granted. The signature will not be counted if graduation cannot be verified due to incomplete or incorrect information. As of 2021, electronic signatures can be substituted for original signatures.

Signees are not required to be members of the Indiana University Alumni Association but are asked to have their current information on file in the IUAA's alumni database. Alumni may update their records by calling Advancement Data Operations at 812-855-4958, 812-855-4822, or via email at

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

Original petition signatures must be delivered to the office of the dean of University Libraries at the address below by April 1, no later than 5 p.m. EST.  

All candidates are asked to supply a photograph and two personal statements, one for paper ballots and one for the online ballot. The paper ballot statement is limited to no more than 300 words. The statement for the official election website may contain up to 800 words. These items should be sent electronically to the alumni trustee election coordinator at

Amy Cope
Alumni Trustee Election Coordinator
Herman B Wells Library, Room 234
1320 E. 10th St.
Bloomington, IN 47405
Fax: (812) 855-2576


Conducting the Election

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. The vote is cast once the online "Vote" button is selected.

Alumni who have voted in the prior three trustee elections via paper ballot will automatically be mailed paper ballots. Ballots will be mailed no earlier than two weeks prior to the start of online voting. Online voting begins June 1 at 12:01 a.m.

Paper ballots are available to any graduate by contacting the alumni trustee election coordinator at or 812-855-6610.

Unique ID numbers are used to prevent duplicate votes. Every ballot, whether paper or electronic, has a unique ID number associated with it. When paper ballots are returned, these numbers are scanned into a database that verifies the sender and allows only one vote to be cast.

A confirmed candidate cannot be removed from the ballot once paper ballots have been mailed. State law does not give the university the authority to remove a candidate from the ballot for any reason.

Indiana state code IC 21-20-3-9 states that ballot envelopes require a signature and that "ballots and the containers in which the ballots are submitted" be designed so that the librarian may confirm that voters are eligible to vote without knowing their preferred candidate. In order to ensure privacy, the signature must be visible on the outside of the ballot envelope and not on the ballot itself.

Voters who are concerned about privacy may either vote online or enclose their signed ballot envelope within another envelope and mail it.

Paper ballots are counted in the Herman B Wells Library, Room E174, beginning at 9 a.m. on the secular day immediately preceding July 1. Candidates may attend the counting or send a representative. The election results will be announced as soon as a winner is determined.

Media Coverage & Campaigning

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

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 has a different purpose than the packet University Libraries sends out. These are separate packets with different requirements and different uses.

The IUAA, any alumni chapter, constituent society, or affiliate group, may not endorse an individual candidate or contribute money in support of a campaign. They may not provide alumni postal and email addresses and other such lists to candidates or their supporters. Alumni names are available in public documents and any candidate may use them.

Alumni newsletters may not run an article about a candidate if the article does not prominently mention the names of all the other candidates, the date of the election, and contact information for the election coordinator.

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 for campaign use is prohibited.

Finding More Information

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.