The Secretariat is McGill University's corporate head office for the Royal Institution for the Advancement of Learning and McGill University. The Secretariat is also:
- the University's governance office responsible for the Board of Governors, the Senate and their committees.
- an impartial office responsible for the administration of University-wide elections, dispute resolution processes for academic staff and students (grievances, appeals), the academic tenure process and the process for the promotion of academic staff to the rank of full professor
- responsible for the organization and administration of statutory senior-level advisory committees (search and reappointment committees for deans, vice-principals, provosts, principals, chancellors);
- the University's unit responsible for access to documents requests and the protection of personal information (under the Act respecting access to documents held by public bodies and the protection of personal information);
- the guardian of the University's Policy Framework, which describes the institutional process for the establishment and review of University-level policies and regulations;
- responsible for the administration of the process relating to the University Policy on the Disclosure of Wrongdoing;
- the custodian of the administration of the University's Policy on the Approval of Contracts and Designation of Signing Authority ("Signing Policy")
- the headquarters for ceremonial matters, including the McGill coat of arms and "signature", letters of credence, lowering of the University flag, the University seal and permission to use the University coat of arms and signature;
- responsible for oversight regarding the corporate information assets of the institution and for the records management program under the McGill University Archives.