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The Election Process

Oberlin’s tradition of allowing alumni to nominate and elect trustees dates back to 1892, when graduates were granted approval to participate in the selection of Oberlin’s governing body. Today, six members of Oberlin’s 30-member Board of Trustees are elected by alumni, a process that begins with letters of nomination sent in by alumni.

Nominees are reviewed by the Alumni Council’s Trustee Search Committee, which selects two finalists. Once approved by the Alumni Council, the slate is put to a vote before all graduates. One trustee is elected each fall for a six-year term.

“This election fits right in with the other activist and participatory elements of the Oberlin experience,” says Kris Hopkins ’83, chair of the Trustee Search Committee. “Although many colleges and universities have a mechanism for putting alumni on their boards of trustees, not all colleges mount a full-fledged election of this type.”

To vote for alumni-elected trustee, complete the electronic ballot at

If you are an Oberlin graduate who has not received either a paper or electronic ballot, call the Alumni Office at (440) 775-8692.