How Trustees are Selected
All TIAA and CREF trustees are elected annually. Candidates for the TIAA and CREF boards come from several sources. Each operating board’s Nominating and Governance Committee considers recommendations for board vacancies from a variety of sources. The committees screen suggested nominees to match them against the needs of each board at any given time.
TIAA-CREF also solicits suggestions from participants during the annual voting process. Participants can make suggestions for future nominees by writing in names in a designated section of the TIAA and CREF ballots.
TIAA and CREF participants influence the composition of the respective operating boards in different ways:
- TIAA — Because TIAA’s charter places the responsibility for trustee election solely with TIAA Board of Overseers, TIAA trustees are not elected by participants. Instead, participants express their preferences through a balloting process. Traditionally, all TIAA participants-including holders of TIAA individual life insurance policies and those with accumulations in the TIAA Real Estate Account-have been asked to express their preference. Participant preferences are considered by TIAA Board of Overseers, which formally elects the TIAA operating board.
- CREF — As a management investment company registered with the SEC, CREF has a different voting procedure. CREF participants directly elect the CREF trustees. Each participant has a number of votes equal to the dollar amount of his or her CREF accumulation and/or the calculated number of dollars supporting CREF’s annuity obligations to that individual if he or she is receiving annuity income. Participants vote at CREF’s annual meeting in person or, usually, by proxies-ballots mailed, phoned in, or cast online. Ballots and proxy statements are made available to each eligible person shortly after the record date for voting eligibility.