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Advisory Committees

1       Introduction  

The Statutes require that an advisory committee be established when considering the appointment or reappointment of:  

  • The Principal
  • The provost, deputy provost and vice-principals, and
  • The deans  

2          Composition of advisory committees  

Appointment of the Principal  

The Board of Governors is responsible for appointing and reappointing the Principal.  Before doing so the Board must consult an advisory committee with the following composition:  

  • Chair of the Board of Governors (or other member designated by the  Board of

Governors) as chair

  • The Chancellor
  • Two members appointed by the Board of Governors
  • Two members appointed by Senate
  • One member appointed by the Students’ Society of McGill University
  • One member appointed by the Post-Graduate Students’ Society
  • Two members appointed by the Council of the McGill Association of University Teachers
  • Two members appointed by the Board of Directors of the Alumni Association
  • Two members elected by the administrative and support staff.   

 [Source: Statutes, section 1.3.4.1] 

 

Appointment of other senior administrators  

The Principal is responsible for recommending to the Board of Governors the appointment or reappointment of the provost, deputy provost, vice-principals, and deans. Before doing so the Principal must consult advisory committees constituted in accordance with the Statutes.   

For the provost, deputy provost, and vice-principals, the advisory committee is composed of:  

  • Four representatives of the Board of Governors
  • Four representatives of Senate, and
  • Two students

[Source:   Statutes, Article 3.4.1] 

 

For the dean of a large faculty, the advisory committee is composed of:  

  • Four members nominated by the faculty immediately concerned
  • Four members not necessarily members of the faculty concerned, nor of Senate, appointed by Senate
  • Two members appointed by the Board of Governors, and
  • Three student members 

Any faculty having fifty or more full-time members of faculty, exclusive of joint appointments with other faculties, is deemed to be a large faculty. 

For the dean of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies, the advisory is composed of:

  • Eight members of faculties offering graduate programs, appointed by Senate
  • Two members appointed by the Board of Governors, and
  • Three student members 

[Source:         Statutes, Article 3.4.2] 

 

For the dean of a small faculty, the advisory committee is composed of:  

  • Two members nominated by the faculty immediately concerned
  • Two members, not necessarily members of the faculty concerned, nor of Senate, appointed by Senate
  • One member appointed by the Board of Governors, and
  • Two student members

 [Source:  Statutes, Article 3.4.2] 

3    Procedures  

The procedures adopted by advisories are not defined in either the Statutes or regulations of the University although certain practises have evolved over time.  In the normal course, an advisory committee is usually struck about one year prior to the end of the incumbent’s term.  The Principal usually chairs advisory committees for the appointment or reappointment of the provost, deputy provost or vice-principals.  The Provost usually chairs the advisory committees for the appointment or reappointment of deans.   

When nominations are made for members of the Board of Governors to serve on advisory committees, the Board Nominating Committee proposes names of “members” as well as “alternates”.  The number of alternates approved by the Board, on the recommendation of the Nominating Committee, is usually half the number of members required for the committee.  Alternates may be called upon to permanently replace a member if the member is unable to serve.  However, a member will not be replaced on an advisory committee if the committee has already begun substantive discussions related to its mandate.  Alternate members attend meetings of the advisory committee only if they have been called upon to permanently replace a member. 

Members are expected to attend the vast majority of meetings of the advisory committee in order to be able to participate meaningfully in discussions and decisions.  However, members may participate by conference call if they are unable to attend in person. All deliberations and recommendations of advisory committees are strictly confidential.

Typically, at the committee’s first meeting, the procedures that the committee will follow will be discussed.  Decisions will be taken about whether or not consultants will be hired to assist the committee with its work.  In addition, the committee usually discusses whether the incumbent in the position will be considered as a candidate.  Other topics reviewed at the first meeting may include: 

  • Advertising of the position
  • Whether a new position profile is needed
  • The scope of the task conferred upon the committee by the Principal (e.g. will there be a faculty/unit review associated with the appointment/reappointment)
  • Whether the committee wishes to solicit views from the community and, if so, whether certain specific individuals (both from inside and outside the University) will be invited to appear before the committee to share their views on the issues before the committee.  

Over the course of the meetings that follow, the advisory committee will pursue the mandate that has been conferred upon it by the Principal.  At the end of its deliberations, the committee will make a recommendation to the Principal who will, in turn, bring her or his own recommendation to the Board for approval.