Young Trustee

What is a Young Trustee?

  • A Young Trustee is a fiduciary of the university, charged with ensuring the long-term health of Duke University.  A Young Trustee is not an advocate or representative for any group. All members of the Board of Trustees—there are 37 of them, including three Young Trustees—understand that when issues come before the board, it's their job to consider what is best for the whole university, not a particular constituency.
  • Young Trustees, like other trustees, must demonstrate an ability to think broadly about the university, understand the role of the university in society, be curious about institutional issues facing Duke, and respect how universities are administered and governed.
  • Young Trustees are independent and collegial and are visible representatives of Duke University. They should embody the values that define Duke—respect, trust, inclusion, discovery and excellence.
  • Young Trustees are not “Student Trustees.”  The Young Trustee position was created to ensure that the board included individuals who are closer to the experience of today’s Duke—not to have students on the board to advocate for student issues.
  • Every year, one individual from the undergraduate student body and one individual from the graduate and professional student body are elected as Young Trustees. They each serve their first year (of either a two- or three-year term) as an observer, which means they attend meetings but do not have a vote.

What is the process for selection?

Nominating Committee

The secretary to the Board of Trustees and chief of staff to the president will lead a process to select members of the nominating committee. This committee will oversee the nomination process for undergraduate students. Members of the nominating committee will be invited to serve by the president. The nominating committee for undergraduate students will consist of the following:

  • Two Current Young Trustees
  • Two Undergraduate Students Serving on a Standing Committee or Strategic Task Force of the Board of Trustees
  • Duke Student Government (DSG) President
  • One other Duke Student Government (DSG) Representative
  • Two At-Large Student Body Positions*
  • Five Identity/Affinity Group Representatives**
  • Assistant Secretary of the Board of Trustees (Committee Secretary)

*If you have interest in serving on the nominating committee, please submit an application (link here) no later than 11:59 p.m. ET on Monday, November 16. All currently enrolled students are eligible to apply.

**The Office of the Secretary will solicit nominations from the identity/affinity groups. Each identity/affinity group may nominate one student each. From that pool, five students will be invited to serve by the president.

The committee will elect one member as chair by consensus or, if necessary, ranked choice vote at the first meeting.

 

Application Process

Once the nominating committee is seated and the application created by the committee, the secretary to the Board of Trustees and chief of staff to the president will send an email to all undergraduate students. The message will remind students about the Young Trustee position, the selection process, inform them of the members of the nominating committee, and invite interested students to submit applications to serve as a Young Trustee.

  • An open forum will be held for all interested students to attend, hosted by the Office of the Secretary, where students can learn about the Young Trustee position, hear from current Young Trustees, and ask questions.

 

Selection of Nominees

The nominating committee will convene to review the applications and interview candidates. (Prior to this, all nominating committee members will have gone through bias training. Additionally, nominating committee members are to recuse themselves when considering candidates where a conflict of interest is present.) Two to four finalists will be selected by the committee.

  • Once the finalists have been selected, the secretary to the Board of Trustees and chief of staff to the president will send an email to all undergraduate students to inform students of the names of the finalists and to invite all students to attend a virtual meeting hosted by the Office of the Secretary.

    • At the meeting, the secretary to the Board of Trustees and chief of staff to the president will begin by describing the Young Trustee position. Next, current Young Trustees will briefly speak about the position. Each finalist will have time to speak about their interest in the position. Then there will be a question and answer period with the finalists. A survey will follow within the next couple of days for everyone who registered and attended the full session. A recording of the session will be available for a few days following the session for those who are not able to attend live.
  • Participants in the meeting will be given the opportunity to express their preference for the candidates. Only those individuals who attended the meeting or watched the recording will be able to participate in the survey. (The survey is not a vote but rather feedback from the student body on the candidates for the nominating committee to utilize in making their recommendation.)
  • The results of the survey will be provided to the nominating committee, which will then make a recommendation to the president.
  • The results of the survey and the recommendation of the nominating committee will be forwarded to the president.

 

Election of Young Trustee

The president will consider the results of the survey and the recommendation of the nominating committee and will put forward one individual for election by the Board of Trustees. The Board of Trustees has the final authority to elect the Young Trustee.

Nominating Committee

The secretary to the Board of Trustees and chief of staff to the president will lead a process to select members of the nominating committee. This committee will oversee the nomination process for graduate and professional students. Members of the nominating committee will be invited to serve by the president. The nominating committee for graduate/professional students will consist of the following:

  • Two Current Young Trustees
  • Two Graduate/Professional Students Serving on a Standing Committee or Strategic Task Force of the Board of Trustees
  • Five Graduate and Professional Student Council (GPSC) Representatives 
  • Three Identity/Affinity Group Representatives*
  • Assistant Secretary of the Board of Trustees (Committee Secretary)

*The Office of the Secretary will solicit nominations from the identity/affinity groups. Each identity/affinity group may nominate one student each. From that pool, three students will be invited to serve by the president.

Once the above committee members have been seated, the Office of the Secretary will assess the committee to determine if all schools are represented. If any school is not represented, the Office of the Secretary will extend an invitation to that school’s dean to nominate three students. From that pool, one student from each unrepresented school will to be invited to serve by the president.

The committee will elect one member as chair by consensus or, if necessary, ranked choice vote at the first meeting.

 

Application Process

Once the nominating committee is seated and the application created by the committee, the secretary to the Board of Trustees and chief of staff to the president will send an email to all graduate and professional students. The message will remind students about the Young Trustee position, the selection process, inform them of the members of the nominating committee, and invite interested students to submit applications to serve as a Young Trustee.

  • An open forum will be held for all interested students to attend, hosted by the Office of the Secretary, where students can learn about the Young Trustee position, hear from current Young Trustees, and ask questions.

 

Selection of Nominees

The nominating committee will convene to review the applications and interview candidates. Two to four finalists will be selected by the committee.

  • Once the finalists have been selected, the secretary to the Board of Trustees and chief of staff to the president will send an email to all graduate and professional students to inform students of the names of the finalists and to invite all students to attend a virtual meeting hosted by the Office of the Secretary and held in partnership with the Graduate and Professional Student Council (GPSC).

    • At the meeting, the secretary to the Board of Trustees and chief of staff to the president will begin by describing the Young Trustee position. Next, current Young Trustees will briefly speak about the position. Each finalist will have time to speak about their interest in the position. Then there will be a question and answer period with the finalists. A survey will follow within the next couple of days for everyone who registered and attended the full session. A recording of the session will be available for a few days following the session for those who are not able to attend live.
  • Participants in the meeting will be given the opportunity to express their preference for the candidates. Only those individuals who attended the meeting or watched the recording will be able to participate in the survey.
  • The results of the survey will be provided to the nominating committee, which will then make a recommendation to the president.
  • The results of the survey and the recommendation of the nominating committee will be forwarded to the president.

 

Election of Young Trustee

The president will consider the results of the survey and the recommendation of the nominating committee and will put forward one individual for election by the Board of Trustees. The Board of Trustees has the final authority to elect the Young Trustee.

What is the timeline?

The nominating committees will be assembled by the conclusion of the fall semester. Due to the shortened semester, Young Trustee applications will be distributed in the spring semester – most likely early February. The nominating committees will submit their recommendations to the president in early-mid April and the Young Trustee nominations will go to the board for approval at its meeting in May.