Gov. Eric Holcomb issued an executive order Tuesday postponing this year’s election of a new IU Board of Trustees member due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The election will not take place until June 2021.
The order was signed at the request of IU President Michael McRobbie and the IU Trustees, according to an IU press release.Typically, alumni ballots are counted June 30, and the elected trustee begins their term July 1.
Trustees Chair Michael Mirro said in the release that conducting an election would be unfair to the candidates because they can’t interact with alumni due to social distancing requirements. He said having the election now would also deny many alumni the opportunity to cast a ballot.
The board is made up of nine trustees who serve as the governing board for the university. Three are elected by alumni and the remaining six are appointed by the governor. Alumni elections are held every June to select one new trustee who will then serve a three-year term.
With the election postponed, trustee Pat Shoulders’ term has been extended a year because the election won't be held for someone to take his place. In June 2021 two new members will be elected. One will finish the 2020 term and only serve for two years. The other will be elected for the 2021 term and serve the standard three years.
McRobbie and Mirro also said in their request to Holcomb it would be difficult for any new trustee to address the complex issues that are currently taking place if they were expected to begin their term July 1, 2020, according to the release.