“We do not have a government by the majority. We have a government by the majority who participate.”
According to the Pew Research Center, voter turnout varies widely by country. Sweden’s 2022 election had an 80% voting age turnout rate while Japan’s 2021 election only had a 56% turnout rate. National elections in the U.S. have seen nearly two-thirds of the voting age population take to the ballot box in recent cycles. I share these comparison stats because they all far outshine the 15.9% of AIR members that voted in the 2023 election.
Elections will open Monday, February 5, and the opportunity to select the next cycle of AIR leaders will be in the hands of the 2,500+ members. I challenge us all to spend a few minutes reading the candidate profiles and become informed voters. I challenge each of you to let your voice be heard and to VOTE in the 2024 AIR elections. I challenge the membership to set a new standard in voter turnout and leave that old 15.9% in the dust!
Slate Selection and Representation
The Nominations and Elections Committee (NEC) received nominations from across the country and representing all types, sizes, and categories of institutions. Due to the tremendous talent and submissions of the nominees, the NEC was faced with the daunting task of considering the variety of perspectives and experiences of each nominee to determine the presented slate of candidates. Building upon the great work of prior NEC cycles, the 2023-24 nominations process was streamlined and simplified. New rubrics were created to evaluate candidates and multiple meetings were required to finalize the slate selections.
While not part of our initial rubrics, once the slate was selected, the NEC was extremely pleased to see the breadth and depth of the final candidates and the institutions they represent. Once the elections open, you’ll find a slate that includes both large, small, public, and private institutions. Candidates represent R1, R2, M1, M2, Special Focus, and Associates institutions. There are also multiple institutions with a minority serving focus, including HBCUs, HSI institutions, and an Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institution (AANAPISI). The slate also includes institutions from the Eastern, Central, Mountain, and Pacific Time Zones. This variety of institutional representation is a testament to AIR’s commitment to build a diverse and dynamic community.
The election window will close on March 1. I look forward to the results and a significantly higher voter turnout rate!
M. Paige Borden
Chair, 2023-24 NEC