Ohio Governor John Kasich announced Tuesday that Lot Kwarteng will represent Miami University as the second student on Miami University’s Board of Trustees, serving a term beginning Oct. 4, 2011 and ending Feb. 28, 2013.
Biennially, the governor, with the assistance of Associated Student Government (ASG), picks two students to represent the student body on the board of trustees.
Since April, only one student, senior Matt Shroder, has represented the Miami student body on the board of trustees.
Three finalists were given to the governor’s office in December 2010, according to Director of Institutional Relations Randi Thomas. However, an appointment was not made until about 10 months later, this past Tuesday, Oct. 4.
The Miami Student contacted the governor’s office Oct. 2 and 3 to see why the selection of the new trustee took much longer than normal, but did not receive comment until after the name of the new student trustee had been released.
With a two-year appointment, the student trustee acts as a lia son between the student body, including Associated Student Government, and the board of trustees. The board of trustees is made up of outside figures appointed by the governor to serve as the highest autho rity at the university alongside the president.
Though it was rare to only have one student on the board for such an extended period of time, when Thomas was student body president, there was no student representation at all.
As a member of Miami student government, Thomas along with many others, worked on the approval process to appoint students to the board of trustees.
“We worked with student governments across the state of Ohio to lobby and advocate the Ohio Senate to put the bill through, and obviously the House as well,” Thomas said.
Miami was one of the leading institutions in the state of Ohio student governments that advocated incorporating students onto the board of trustees.
The process of appointing a student trustee starts with the application process.
Once ASG has received applications and resumes, 10 or 20 students are brought in for an interview process. This interview process is one student being interviewed by the student government as well as the current student trustee.
After the interview process, the roster is cut down to between three and five of the most qualified students whose names are then submitted to the governor’s office for the final decision.
After communication with the governor’s office, especially during the beginning of the 2011-2012 school year, ASG was aware that the governor would reach a decision towards the end of September or beginning of October, according to Thomas.
Now that the approval process is complete, it is Matt Shroder’s job as the senior trustee to teach the junior trustee how the university is governed through the board of trustees, as well as the president and the executive council.
“At first when you apply [for the position], you don’t really know what it all entails,” Shroder said. “Overall, the experience is a great one. I have learned how to communicate well, not only with people who could be my teacher, but also CEOs at different corporations where there are trustees.”
Kwarteng said he is excited to learn the ropes and represent the student body.
“Now that I’ve been appointed, I’m looking forward to learning a lot and to working with President Hodge and administrators to improve the quality of life here at Miami,” Kwarteng said.
With the application process for Shroder’s seat starting around November, ASG was relieved to finally fill the second position.
“This university exists for students, it’s not only an institution, but a place for personal growth,” Shroder said. “So you need to have some kind of student opinion and concern that is being voiced to the board of trustees.”