Advisory Committee for Nomination of a Principal

Published: 16 April 2012

Message to members of the McGill University community

The second term of Professor Heather Munroe-Blum as Principal ends on June 30, 2013, and a process to find her successor has begun.  In accordance with the Statutes of McGill University, an Advisory Committee has been formed.  The members of the Committee are:

Committee Chair:

Mr. Stuart ‘Kip’ Cobbett, Chair of the Board of Governors



Mr. Arnold Steinberg


Board of Governors Appointees:

Mr. Gerald Butts

Ms. Lili de Grandpré


Alumni Appointees:

Ms. Tina Hobday

Ms. Cynthia Price


Senate Appointees:

Professor John Galaty

Professor R. Bruce Lennox


MAUT Appointees:

Professor Bernard Robaire

Professor Michael Smith


Admin & Support Staff (elected):

Mr. Ronald Critchley

Ms. Gabrielle Kern


Post-Graduate Students’ Society Appointee:

Ms Mariève Isabel


Students’ Society of McGill University Appointee:

Haley Hatch-Dinel

Mr. Stephen Strople, Secretary General, will serve as secretary to the Committee.

The  Statutes stipulate that the Board of Governors appoints the Principal after consultation with a Committee and from the names submitted to it by this Committee.

The Committee’s primary task will be to identify and consider qualified individuals for the position, and to nominate top candidates from whom the Board shall select the Principal. It has decided to utilize professional assistance in the search and will engage a major firm with experience in U-15/AAU university presidential searches.

The Committee’s aim is to present its nominations in time to enable the new Principal to take office in Summer 2013.

As you will appreciate, the Advisory Committee has a critical mandate to locate suitable individuals to lead McGill in the years ahead. To guide its deliberations, it will be important for the Committee to understand the key issues of concern to the University and to identify the attributes that the next Principal should possess. Accordingly, the Committee is seeking input from members of the University community.

In the coming weeks, the Committee will hold a series of face-to-face meetings to hear directly the views of interested members and supporters of the University, prior to beginning a search for candidates.

The Committee also invites you at this time to submit any input and advice concerning the advisory process for Principal in writing. The Advisory Committee is interested in whatever comments you care to make, but particularly would welcome your views regarding:

  • opportunities, challenges, issues, and priorities facing the University over the next 5-10 years which are relevant to the nomination process;
  • the key roles and responsibilities of the Principal in leading McGill through the next 5-10 years;
  • the required and desirable characteristics, leadership skills, qualifications and experience of candidates for the position of Principal.

Please feel free to make any other points that you consider relevant, and address your correspondence to me in confidence, by campus mail, care of the Secretary General, or by email to advisory.principal [at] The Committee would like to receive these written submissions as soon as possible, and no later than Friday, May 18. All written submissions will be treated in strictest confidence. The written submissions together with the knowledge gained through the face-to-face consultations will assist the Committee in planning the advisory process and in the development of a position profile to be used in identifying and assessing candidates.

In due course the Committee will place appropriate advertisements for the position and will seek applications and nominations.  To begin this process, we would invite your assistance in identifying prospective candidates whom the Committee may wish to consider. Please address any applications, nominations or suggestions of prospective candidates to me, in confidence, at any time, care of the Secretary General.

The nomination of the next Principal ultimately must be approved by the Board of Governors.

Confidentiality is essential to the success of the process, and strict confidentiality will be observed with respect to the deliberations of the Committee.

I thank you for your attention to this memorandum.

Stuart ‘Kip’ Cobbett,

Chair,  Advisory Committee for Principal, and Chair of the Board of Governors

cc/ Committee Members


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