Indiana Daily Student

Black Voices: Black Alumnus, Jeremy Morris, wins Board of Trustees election

Jeremy Morris, an adjunct law professor at the IU McKinney School of Law, poses for a headshot. Morris was announced as one of two victors of the Board of Trustees election June 30.
Jeremy Morris, an adjunct law professor at the IU McKinney School of Law, poses for a headshot. Morris was announced as one of two victors of the Board of Trustees election June 30.

Jeremy Morris won the IU Board of Trustees election on July 30th, 2021. Morris is the first Black male to be elected into the board of trustees and youngest elected trustee on the board. 

He plans to make IU more affordable for students, decrease student loan debt for IU graduates through the development of student loan forgiveness plans and redeveloping IU’s strategy and approach to promoting equity, diversity and inclusion.

“I was very clear and unapologetic about what I was standing for in my candidate statement. I spent a lot of time carving it out. I already knew what I wanted to do and it was pressing for students but I was trying to make sure I made the best statement that exemplified me,” Morris said. 

Morris describes his campaign process for the election as interesting.

“With COVID in place, it was challenging for all the candidates to find ways to interact with people, but what I had to my advantage was I know social media,” Morris said. “So I wanted to use that to communicate with more people but also to meet Alumni where they are.”

Morris used the second part of his campaign to provide more background about himself. 

“I wanted people to know that I am funny, I am serious, a professional, a brother and a son,” Morris said.

He is overjoyed about his election, and looks forward to working with the rest of the board. 

“I do not take it for granted because a lot of people put trust in me,” Morris said. “For me this is a very important step in IU’s history. We just had the first female president and I am the first Black male elected trustee. It is a lot of powerful things that are happening and I hope that current students and alumni can be encouraged that the university is moving in a direction that is advancing.”

The board consists of nine trustees, six appointed by the governor and three elected by alumni, and will now have three Black members. Two were elected, Jeremy Morris and Donna Spears, and one, W. Quinn Buckner, was appointed.

“There is still a lot of work to do but I am very grateful to be a part of distinguished individuals on the board of trustees who make the decisions for Indiana university,” Morris said.

Spears was reelected for her second term while Morris and Buckner will be serving their first terms of three years each. 

“I am not expecting to shift anyone’s mindset when I enter a room but what I do expect as part of this process is to add perspective. Because when your perspective is not there and you are not heard, that is where the problem is,” Morris said. “ I knew I wanted to be the voice for a cross section of generations who weren't necessarily represented.” 

Morris says his plans now are to get more acquainted with the other trustees before he officially starts attending meetings in August.  

“After the year 2020, the representation that we are starting to see in these positions of power.. have the opportunity to make change in the community,” IUSG student body president Ky Freeman, said. “It does not mean that we are done, it just means that we are starting to build momentum.”

Freeman said he now feels represented on the Board of Trustees as a young minority student. 

“It was nice to have a trustee who I can see myself in because a lot of his content on social media was geared to not just the older alumni, but alumni who have just graduated also,” Freeman said. “I am ecstatic to get more representation on the board.”

Freeman hopes to have a closer interaction as student government with the alumni trustees and he believes Morris will do a great job.

“I am not scared for Trustee Jeremy Morris going into this position because I think he is beyond qualified. I have had the opportunity of engaging with him throughout the course of it and every experience has been impactful,” Freeman said. 

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