How McGill Works

Governance: Who Does What

Board of Governors

Under the terms of the University's Royal Charter (1852), the Board of Governors is the University's highest governing body, with general jurisdiction and final authority over the conduct of the affairs of the University.


The Senate exercises general control and supervision over the academic affairs of the institution, subject to the authority of the Board of Governors.


The University Secretariat is the office of the Chancellor, the Chair of the Board of Governors, the Board of Governors and its committees, and of the University Senate. The University Secretariat is also responsibile for Convocations and ceremonial matters, as well as oversight of impartial processes for tenure and promotion, University-wide elections (to the Senate and the Board), dispute resolution mechanisms, and access to information. The University Secretariat is led by the Secretary-General, the University's senior governance officer and Secretary to the Board of Governors and the Senate.


The Chancellor is the titular head of the University and presiding officer of Convocation and represents the University at official functions.

Senior Administration

Principal and Vice-Chancellor

The chief executive officer of McGill, the Principal and Vice-Chancellor, works with the University community to achieve excellence in teaching, research and service, and represents McGill to external bodies at home and around the world.


As McGill's chief academic officer, the Provost has responsibility for the development, implementation and assessment of all academic policies and programs, budget planning and allocations.

Deputy Provost (Student Life and Learning)

The Deputy Provost (Student Life and Learning) is the senior administrator responsible for the implementation of policies, actions, and decisions aimed at enhancing student life and learning at McGill.

Vice-Principal (Administration and Finance)

The Vice-Principal (Administration and Finance), the chief financial and administrative officer of McGill, oversees financial services, university services and human resources.

Vice-Principal (Development and Alumni Relations)

The Vice-Principal (Development and Alumni Relations) promotes the University to its community and its many publics, builds on McGill’s record of fundraising success and enhances relations with alumni, volunteers and friends of McGill.

Vice-Principal (External Relations)

The Vice-Principal (External Relations) oversees and enhances McGill's relations with the media, government and the diplomatic corps, and serves as chief liaison with other organizations and public institutions.

Vice-Principal (Research and International Relations)

The Vice-Principal (Research and International Relations) oversees research services and policies, works to optimize the research successes of the University and its affiliated hospitals and serves as the main representative on research and related matters.


There is a dean of each Faculty, as well as a Dean of Students, a Dean of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies, a Dean of Continuing Studies and currently a Dean of Libraries (alternatively, the head of Libraries may be the Director).

The Faculty Deans preside at all meetings of the Faculties, administer the affairs of the faculty, academic and executive, recommend the appointment and promotion of their teaching staff in accordance with the regulations, recommend the appointment of departmental chairs, and are responsible for the preparation of the faculty budget.

The non-faculty Deans administer academic and administrative affairs appropriate to their office, recommend the appointment and promotion of teaching staff in accordance with the regulations, and are responsible for the preparation of a budget.