Student Trustee Application and Selection

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.

Application & Information Sessions

The 2020 Graduate/Professional Student Trustee application period has closed. Please check back this fall for information on the 2021 Undergraduate Student Trustee application.

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 20 members: 15 voting Ohio residents, two voting student trustees (one graduate or professional and one undergraduate) and three non-voting charter trustees (non-Ohio residents). All members, except for the 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 an annual board retreat. 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.

Eligibility Requirements

Each applicant must:

  • Be an Ohio resident (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
  • Not be on disciplinary probation

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 in a non-student or work-study 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).  

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.

Application and Selection Process

The Office of Student Life oversees the application and interview process in partnership with the student trustee whose term is expiring. A selection committee of student leaders will interview selected potential applicants and select five finalists to recommend to the governor’s office. After interviewing the finalists, the governor will appoint one student to serve a two-year term. Interested candidates must submit a completed application.

Applications will not be accepted if they are late, incomplete, delivered to the wrong address or if the personal statement exceeds the maximum page length.


Please contact the Board of Trustees Office ( with any questions.