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Sunday, April 14
The Indiana Daily Student

campus administration

Everything you need to know about the IU Board of Trustees

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After months of protests and listening sessions, the IU Board of Trustees will once again discuss designating the Kinsey Institute as a “university-related entity” at meetings Feb. 29 and March 1 at IU Southeast’s campus in New Albany. IU officials have said the decision will help put them in compliance with a new Indiana law barring state dollars from the institute, but critics claim the move will put the institute’s collections of sexological artifacts in jeopardy by placing them in university control, where they could be vulnerable to future outside pressure.  

The board is composed of nine trustees — three who are elected, and six who are appointed by the governor, which includes one student trustee. They each serve three-year terms, except the student representative, who serves for two years. IU alumni select the elected positions, staggered in yearly elections.  

The board has the power to set tuition and fees, determine curricula, enter into agreements with government entities, set admission standards, make investments, determine property uses, award financial aid, appoint the president, approve faculty hiring, promotion and tenure decisions and determine codes of conduct and discipline.  

The trustees are not paid according to their website, although they do receive reimbursement for expenses incurred while on the job as well as a small allowance for their duties.  

In advance of the trustees’ meeting, here is everything you need to know about the current board members — and how they spend their money. 

W. Quinn Buckner  

Buckner was appointed by Gov. Mike Pence in 2016 and is the current chair of the board. Buckner lives in Monroe County and serves as the vice president of communications for Pacer Sports and Entertainment. His prolific basketball career began at IU under the late coach Bobby Knight, including the 1975-76 season that saw IU go undefeated, culminating in an NCAA championship win. Graduating with a bachelor’s degree from the Kelley School of Business, Buckner joined the NBA and served as captain of the U.S. Men Olympics Basketball Team in 1976.  

In addition to his work on the board, Buckner serves on the IU Foundation, the Community Health Network Foundation, Old National Bank Advisory Board and the Indiana Youth Institute. He’s also a partner with Mack Financial, an Indianapolis-based financial planning firm. 

As chair of the board, Buckner is an ex officio member of each committee. He is the first Black person to be named as chair of the IU Board of Trustees. 

Buckner has not donated to any political candidates, according to Federal Election Commission data. 

Cindy Lucchese 

Vice chair Lucchese, appointed in 2021 by Gov. Eric Holcomb, is the chief strategy officer for Penske Entertainment, which owns the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. She’s also on the board of Cooper Companies, Inari Medical Inc and Beaver-Visitec International Holdings, all medical device companies. Lucchese received her master’s in business administration from IU. 

Lucchese, who lives in Marion County, donated $2,500 to Mike Pence’s 2012 gubernatorial campaign and another $1,000 in 2016, according to donor records from OpenSecrets. 

Cathy Langham 

Appointed in 2022 by Holcomb, Langham is the CEO of Langham Logistics, a global freight management company serving the pharmaceutical, automotive and retail industries, in addition to some work on government projects. Langham is an alumna of the Kelley School of Business and resides in Hamilton County. 

In the lead up to the 2022 midterm elections, Langham donated $2,000 to Republican Sen. Todd Young’s re-election effort. She contributed a total of $15,250 to Holcomb between 2018 and the 2020 gubernatorial election and made several donations to state and national Republicans over more than twenty years, including more than $5,000 to then-congressman Todd Rokita from 2013-17.  She also donated a little more than $17,000 to Mitch Daniels and $7,500 to Mike Pence when they ran for governor and gave $1,000 to Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnell in 2007. 

Jeremy Morris 

Morris was elected to the board in 2021. He works as a senior counsel for Taft, a law firm that describes itself as “modern and progressive.” He was previously an assistant U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Indiana.  

While Black men have been appointed to the board in the past, Morris became the first Black man elected to the board according to the Herald Times. Morris called IU President Pamela Whitten the “Beyoncé of higher education” during an August 2023 meeting where Whitten was granted a $162,000 bonus, the maximum allowed by her contract according to Indiana Public Media. 

Morris received three degrees from IU — a bachelor’s in African American and African diaspora studies, a master’s in higher education and student affairs administration and a juris doctorate from IU McKinney School of Law, where he now serves as an adjunct professor. 

When Morris was assistant district attorney for Fulton County in Georgia, he donated nearly $1000 to Charles Bailey in his race for Georgia’s attorney general and lieutenant governor in 2018 and 2022, respectively.

Kyle Seibert 

Seibert is the board’s sole student representative, appointed by the governor in 2023. He is working toward a master’s in public affairs at IU and most recently served as student body president in 2022-23. He’s also served as a student representative for IU’s 2030 plan.  

When he graduates, he plans to work in higher education or at a higher education consulting firm.   

J. Timothy Morris 

J. Timothy Morris, appointed by Gov. Holcomb in 2023, is a Kelley School of Business alum and founder of Proprium Capital Partners, a real estate investment firm he launched in 2013.  

Morris was an early supporter of Sample Gates Management, a real estate private equity fund run by IU students. He lives in Nashville, Tennessee. 

Morris has not donated to any political candidates, according to FEC data. 

Donna Spears  

Elected to the board in 2018, Spears lives in Wayne County, where she works as an associate broker for Coldwell Banker Lingle. She is also the chair of the Indiana Real Estate Commission and serves on the Indiana Association of Realtors Board of Directors.  

Spears earned three degrees from IU — an associate’s degree from the School of Dentistry, a bachelor’s in public health education and a master’s in public affairs for health systems administration. 

She sits on multiple boards in Indiana, including the Women’s Philanthropy Leadership Council, the Riley Children’s Hospital Foundation Board of Managers and the IU Foundation.  

Spears donated a little over $100 to ActBlue, a fundraising platform for Democrats and left-leaning politicians. She also donated a total of $800 to the National Association of Realtors Political Action Committee in 2018 and 2022. This PAC donates to both Republicans and Democrats who represent the interests of realtors.  

Isaac Torres  

Torres, appointed by the governor in 2023, received his master’s in business administration from IU South Bend and resides in St. Joseph County. He is CEO of InterCambio Express, a company that facilitates international money transfers, primarily between the U.S. and Central and South America.  

Torres serves on several other boards, including the IU Foundation and the Women’s Care Center. The Women’s Care Center is a crisis pregnancy center with locations across the country that provide free counseling to pregnant women, as well as ultrasounds and pregnancy tests, with the stated goal of encouraging them not to get an abortion, according to the Herald-Times. The same article details how a location opened next to Planned Parenthood in 2017 as a means of dissuading pregnancy termination.  

Torres donated more than $5,000 to Republican Diego Morales’ congressional campaign during the 2018 midterm elections. He most recently gave $2,000 to Sen. Todd Young’s 2022 re-election effort and $2,000 to Rep. Rudy Yakym of Indiana shortly after Yakym was elected in 2022  

Vivian Winston 

Winston is a former Kelley School of Business lecturer and Monroe County resident who was elected to the board in 2022. She also holds a master’s in business administration from the Kelley School.  

Shortly after her election, Winston told the Herald-Times she would focus on keeping IU affordable in her role on the board. She also said graduate workers deserved a fair wage but did not think a union was the right solution to the issue.  

In 2013, Winston donated $200 to the Republican National Committee. She also donated $750 to Democrat Jill Long Thomspon, who ran for governor in 2008 and lost to incumbent Republican Gov. Mitch Daniels.  

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Editors Note: The IDS looked through publicly available donor information to write this story. Data was collected from both the Federal Election Commission and a database of donor records from the government transparency nonprofit OpenSecrets. The IDS conducted searches with alternative names to capture as many records as possible. This included searching for both full names and nicknames, such as Cynthia and Cindy Lucchese, Cathy and Catherine Langham, John, Timothy, Tim and J. Timothy Morris, William, Quinn and W. Quinn Buckner. To confirm identities, the IDS cross-checked records with the location of the donor and the occupation listed.  

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