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Board of Governors Election 2019

The HathiTrust Board of Governors has ultimate responsibility for HathiTrust's activities, functions, finances, and operations.  It includes six at-large members elected by the membership and six members appointed by the founding institutions. Elected members serve three year terms.  Information about the Board of Governors, its membership, and its responsibilities may be found at https://www.hathitrust.org/board_of_governors.


  • Nominations will be accepted beginning July 22 and no later than August 12.
  • Nominees must submit all required information by August 13.
  • The nominees will be reviewed and the ballot finalized between August 14 and August 23.
  • Elections will open on September 3 and conclude on September 23.

Open Seats

Three seats will be filled in the 2019 election:

  • Two seats with terms running from January 1, 2020 to December 31, 2022.  These seats are currently held by Kevin Smith, University of Kansas (elected in 2016 to a three-year term) and Holly Mercer, University of Tennessee, Knoxville (elected in 2018 to a one-year term, completing the term of Sarah Thomas who retired from Harvard University in 2019).

Nominating Committee

The Nominating Committee solicits and reviews nominations from the membership and presents these to the Board of Governors, which finalizes the ballot. The Nominating Committee will receive nominations from the membership from July 22 to August 12, 2019.

The members of the 2019 Nominating Committee are:

  • John Culshaw, University of Iowa (Chair)
  • Chris Cox, Clemson University
  • Anne Houston, Lafayette College
  • Beth McNeil, Purdue University
  • Erik Mitchell, University of California, San Diego


To be selected to be part of the final ballot, nominees should have a record of significant administrative responsibility, have demonstrated leadership within the community, and currently serve as the official member representative of a HathiTrust member institution.  Board members should expect to continue in that role for the duration of their term on the Board. 

Representatives of founding members (the University of California, the University of Michigan, Indiana University, and the members of the Big Ten Academic Alliance) are not eligible for election because these schools appoint members to the Board.

Submitting a Nomination

Nominations may be made by any individual affiliated with a HathiTrust member institution.  Self-nominations are permitted.

If you are nominating someone other than yourself, please confirm that they will agree to run if they are selected for the final ballot.  Nominations should be sent to Melissa Stewart at mmstewa@hathitrust.org no later than August 12, 2019.

Nominations must include:

  • Name, Library, Title, Phone, and E-mail of nominee
  • Name, Library, Title, Phone, and E-mail of nominator
  • A brief statement describing the nominee's qualifications

Individuals who nominate themselves are asked to submit the additional information described below.

Directions for Nominees

As nominations are submitted, the Nominating Committee will request the following additional information from nominees.

  • CV of nominee
  • Photo of nominee
  • A narrative statement (250 words or less) describing:
    • Qualifications of nominee
    • Experience in any or all of the following areas: fiduciary and management roles, strategic planning, vision-building, decision-making, conflict resolution, communication
    • Interest in serving on the board
    • One or two future issues that the Board should address & how the nominee would approach these issues
    • The nominee’s perception of the Board of Governor’s role in leading and guiding the HathiTrust general body

Nominees should submit the above to Melissa Stewart mmstewa@hathitrust.org by August 12, 2019.


The 2019 Board of Governors election will run from September 3 through September 23, 2019.   An electronic ballot will be sent to official member representatives for their vote.  The candidates with the two highest weighted vote totals will be appointed to three-year terms.  

Votes will be calculated following the weighted voting model in use since the 2011 Constitutional Convention:

  • Votes are weighted by calculating the square root of the volumes contributed and dollars spent.
  • Minimum vote weights will be rounded up to a value of one (1) so that no institution has a vote with a weight of less than one.*

Voting weights for the 2019 election will be calculated using data current as of August 31, 2019.


Questions about the process or qualifications may be directed to Melissa Stewart at mmstewa@hathitrust.org.

More information about the weighted voting model can be found here: https://www.hathitrust.org/explanation-of-weighted-voting