Each year, the Governor of Ohio appoints one new student trustee to serve a two-year term as a full voting member of the board.
Note: The application window for the 2022 Graduate/Professional Student Trustee position closed on January 21, 2022. Undergraduate students should check back in the fall of 2023 for details on how to apply to be the next Undergraduate Student Trustee.
About the Role
The Board of Trustees is the highest level of governance at Ohio State. It serves as the chief fiduciary and strategic body of the university, and its decisions ultimately shape the future of Ohio State and directly impact students, faculty and staff. The board consists of up to 20 members: 15 voting Ohio residents, two voting student trustees (one graduate or professional and one undergraduate) and up to three non-voting charter trustees who are non-Ohio residents. All members, except for charter trustees, are appointed by the governor of Ohio.
The student trustees each serve two-year terms, attend all board meetings and executive sessions, and vote at the committee and board levels. There are approximately four multi-day board meetings per year, plus additional off-cycle meetings and events. As a trustee, the selected student will be expected to attend all functions; stay up-to-date on campus, higher education and national news; and be able to balance this responsibility with other personal and academic commitments.
Each applicant must:
- Be an Ohio resident and U.S. citizen (see details below)
- Remain an Ohio resident for at least two years after appointment
- Attend Ohio State for at least two years after appointment
- Be in good academic standing (Note: Pass/Non-Pass grades due to the pandemic will not be viewed negatively during the review process)
- Not be on disciplinary probation
- Be currently enrolled in the appropriate classification (undergraduate or graduate/professional student) at the time of application
- Not hold a non-student employment position with the university/medical center
Ohio Residency Requirement
Ohio's residency requirements for all elected and appointed public officials (including Ohio State student trustees) are set forth by the Ohio Constitution, which requires that "no person shall be elected or appointed to any office in this state unless possessed of the qualifications of an elector" (Article XV, Section 4). Further, under Article V, Section 1, it states that "every citizen of the United States, of the age of 18 years, who has been a resident of the state, county, township, or ward, such time as may be provided by law, and has been registered to vote for 30 days, has the qualifications of an elector, and is entitled to vote at all elections. Any elector who fails to vote in at least one election during any period of four consecutive years shall cease to be an elector unless he again registers to vote."
Therefore, a student must be a U.S. citizen, at least 18 years old, a resident of the state of Ohio, and have been registered to vote in the state of Ohio for at least 30 days before they may be appointed to the trustee position. For more details on voter eligibility and residency requirements, please visit the Secretary of State website.
Disclaimer on University Employment
For those students who receive financial aid from and/or are employed by the university, please note that Ohio Revised Code section 3335.02(C) states in part, “… no student shall be disqualified from membership on the Board of Trustees because the student receives a scholarship, grant, loan, or any other financial assistance payable out of the state treasury or a university fund, or because the student is employed by the university in a position pursuant to a work-study program or other student employment, including as a graduate teaching assistant, graduate administrative assistant, or graduate research assistant, the compensation for which is payable out of the state treasury or a university fund. Acceptance of such financial assistance or employment by a student trustee shall not be considered a violation of Chapter 102 or section 2921.42 or 2921.43 of the Revised Code.”
However, students who are employed by the university (or medical center) in a non-student position may not be appointed to the Board of Trustees. Ohio Revised Code 3335.09 specifically prohibits board members from being a professor or employee of the university, except for student-employees, as permitted in 3335.02(C). A handful of Ohio State professors and clinicians may sit on the Board of Trustees' committees as "public members," but they do not have the same full voting privileges as trustees and student trustees.
Interested candidates must first submit a completed application. Applications are redacted and reviewed as part of a blind review process conducted by the Student Trustee Selection Committee. Appointed annually, this committee consists of the two current student trustee members of the Board of Trustees; three student members from each of the major student government groups at Ohio State (USG, CGS, IPC); and at least one university staff member and one current or former faculty member.
After reviewing all applications, the selection committee will interview a group of selected applicants and, ultimately, identify five finalists to recommend to the Governor's Office for consideration. The Governor's Office will interview the finalists and appoint one student to serve a two-year term.
Please contact the Board of Trustees Office (firstname.lastname@example.org) with any questions or if you would like to request any special accommodations.