I thought that trustees of a university are leading people in the region or around the country (politicians, industrial leaders, donators, etc). I accidentally saw the Board of Trustees of Princeton University, and was surprised that one of the members is just a student from California.

It makes me wonder, how the trustees are selected? and what are the requirements for becoming a trustee?

  • 2
    So, exactly how does one 'accidentally' see the Board of Trustees? Just wondering... – Jon Custer Mar 13 '15 at 13:24
  • Two cases that I happen to know about, as an employee or alumnus. The University of Michigan has a Board of Regents elected by the voters of the state of Michigan (usually very far down on the ballot, where not too many people bother to vote). Harvard University has a Board of Overseers elected by Harvard's alumni. – Andreas Blass Mar 13 '15 at 15:33
  • To be clear, the trustee in question is not "just a student from California"; she graduated from Princeton 4 years ago and subsequently enrolled in a Ph.D. program at Stanford. When you say it this way, it's much less surprising... – Tom Church Mar 13 '15 at 18:28
  • Varies by institution. – A E Mar 13 '15 at 18:31

Every university should have a documented process for choosing trustees, regents, etc. Ours are appointed by the Governor. See the link for what Princeton does. There are students on the Princeton board because a) there was a grad student among the 13 elected alumni trustees (2011 grad), and b) because there is always a graduating senior elected. Both of these kinds of alumni trustees serve for 4-year terms.

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