The process is described in detail on the Alumni Council’s nomination and election page
. A quick summary: The Alumni Council's Nominations Committee considers literally hundreds of Colgate alumni—everyone who is suggested to the Committee by someone or who self-nominates—for nine slots: 7 representing each era of Colgate alumni, and 2 representing alumni "at large."
In doing its work, the Nominations Committee uses the following four criteria, which have guided the formation of a successful, engaged board for decades: (1) breadth of Colgate volunteer experience—with a particular eye toward demonstrated leadership; (2) consistent participation in Colgate’s fundraising programs; (3) diversity of talent and perspective, including occupation, community service, gender, race, and geography; (4) evidence of time and service to the world beyond Colgate.
The Alumni Council’s nominees are voted on by the full Council in the Fall and announced in the Winter issue of the Colgate Scene. At that time, any alum who wasn’t nominated by the Alumni Council can gather 75 signatures and run as a petition candidate. The election culminates at Reunion: if there are no petition candidates, a unanimous ballot is cast for the Alumni Council-nominated candidates; if there are petition candidates, the alumni are asked to vote.
In 2012, two alumni have petitioned to run in opposition to council-nominated candidates. While the Alumni Council supports the right of any alum to run, and is committed to a fair election, the Alumni Council also believes in its comprehensive nominations process, and wholeheartedly supports the candidates who its Nominations Committee has chosen.