Membership of the Governing Council is defined in Subsection 2 (2) of The University of Toronto Act. Some members are elected, some are appointed, and two serve by virtue of their positions (ex officio), as indicated below.
|Membership type||Estate||Number of seats|
Chancellor - elected by the College of Electors on behalf of the alumni of the University
President - appointed by the Governing Council
|Appointed||LGIC Appointees - appointed by the Lieutenant-Governor- in-Council (LGIC). None of these appointees may be students, members of the administrative staff or members of the teaching staff.||16|
|Presidential Appointees - appointed by the President from among the officers of the University, University College, the constituent colleges, the federated universities and the federated and affiliated colleges||2|
|Elected||Administrative Staff - elected by and from among the administrative staff||2|
|Alumni - who are not students or members of the administrative or teaching staff, elected by the College of Electors on behalf of the alumni of the University||8|
|Students; Full-time undergraduate - elected by and from among the full-time undergraduate students||4|
|Students; Part-time undergraduate - elected by and from among the part-time undergraduate students||2|
|Students; Graduate - elected by and from among the graduate students||2|
|Teaching Staff - elected by and from among the teaching staff||12|
|Total Number of Members||50|
Clause 2 (14) (nb) of The Act provides for the Governing Council to “determine the manner and procedure of election of its members, including the determination of constituencies, assign students and members of the teaching staff and administrative staff to such constituencies, and conduct such elections …”.
Election of Administrative Staff, Teaching Staff and Student Members
Elections for administrative staff, teaching staff, and student seats on the Governing Council are conducted by a Chief Returning Officer, who is appointed by the University Affairs Board on the recommendation of the Secretary of the Governing Council. Nominations for positions on the Governing Council for terms effective July 1st normally open in January. Elections are normally completed by the end of March. Nomination forms are available on the Governing Council website.
Election Guidelines are developed annually to provide a framework for the conduct of the Governing Council elections. The Guidelines define the eligibility and nomination requirements for candidates, set out the election schedule, and describe the procedures and rules that govern the election.
Election of Alumni Members
Elections for alumni members of the Governing Council are conducted by the College of Electors, a group established by the Governing Council in 1971. Members of the College are elected by the constituent alumni associations of the University of Toronto Alumni Association (UTAA), and are responsible for electing the Chancellor and the alumni members of the Governing Council. The Vice-President – University Governance of the UTAA serves as the Chair of the College.
The process for the election of the alumni members of the Governing Council and for the election of the Chancellor is set out in the Constitution of the College. The Call for Nominations for alumni governors is published in the autumn issue of the U of T Magazine, and nomination forms are available on the Governing Council website. Nominations close on December 12, 2019, and the election takes place in late February by the College of Electors.
Vacancies During Term of Office
Administrative Staff, Teaching Staff and Students
The process for filling a vacancy caused by the resignation of an elected administrative staff, teaching staff or student member on the Governing Council is described in the Election Guidelines. A by-election will be held automatically unless the vacancy takes place within eight months of the end of a member’s term. If the vacancy takes place during that period, the Chief Returning Officer consults the Elections Committee of the Governing Council to determine whether or not an election should be held.
A by-election may be held to fill a vacancy caused by the resignation of an elected alumni member on the Governing Council. The by-election is conducted under the rules and regulations governing regular elections, except that the Chair, in consultation with the Executive Committee, may place in nomination names of candidates remaining from the previous regular election without the candidate or candidates undergoing re- nomination procedures.
Section 29 of By-law Number 2 of the Governing Council establishes four classes of committees:
- the Executive Committee;
- the Academic, Business and University Affairs Boards;
- Standing Committees, reporting either to the Governing Council or to a Board:
- Agenda Committee, reporting to the Academic Board,
- Academic Appeals Committee, reporting to the Academic Board,
- Elections Committee, reporting to the University Affairs Board,
- Audit Committee, reporting to the Business Board;
- Special Committees which may be established from time to time.
In addition to the Committees and Boards noted above, three other Standing Committees have been established by resolution of the Governing Council:
- Committee on Academic Policy and Programs, reporting to the Academic Board,
- Planning and Budget Committee, reporting to the Academic Board,
- Committee for Honorary Degrees, whose membership is recommended by the Academic Board to the Governing Council, reporting to the Governing Council.
Normally, where a committee or board has been delegated authority to act for the Governing Council, a majority of its members must be members of the Governing Council. However, the Academic Board and the Committee on Academic Policy and Programs have authority to act with respect to those matters under clauses (g), (h), and (n) of Section 2 (14) of the University of Toronto Act: conduct of examinations, student awards, admission standards, curricula and degree requirement, even though a majority of the members are not members of the Governing Council.
Membership of the Boards and Committees of the Governing Council
The membership of the Executive Committee is defined in Section 3 (1) of the University of Toronto Act: The membership of the other Boards and Committees of the Governing Council is defined in the Terms of Reference of the body, as approved by the Governing Council.
With the exception of the Elections Committee, all Boards and Committees of the Governing Council include members of the Governing Council and non-members of the Governing Council representing the estates that are defined in the Act – administrative staff, teaching staff, full-time undergraduate students, part-time undergraduate students, graduate students, alumni and Lieutenant-Governor-in-Council (LGIC) appointees. Non-Governing Council (co-opted) members of the Boards are appointed by a Striking Committee, as described below, with the exception of teaching staff members and librarians on the Academic Board who are elected. The Academic Board election is conducted by the Chief Returning Officer at the same time as the election for Governing Council. Information about elections is available here.
Members of the Committees of the Academic Board (except for the Academic Appeals Committee) who are not members of the Governing Council must be members of the Board.
A summary of the membership of the Boards and Committees of the Governing Council, indicating the estate and number of Governing Council and non-Governing Council members, is included in the following table.
|Board||Administrative Staff||Teaching Staff||Librarians||Students||Lay Members*||Ex Officio||Presidential Assessors/Appointees||Total # of Members|
|Academic GC||0 - 1||6||0||4||1 - 5||4||0||16|
|Academic (Non-GC)||3 - 4||50||2||12||5 - 1||30||3||105|
|Business GC||1 - 2||1 - 2||Considered as administrative/professional staff for membership on Board||1 - 2||12||4||3||22|
|Business (Non-GC)||0 - 1||0 - 1||Considered as administrative/professional staff for membership on Board||0 - 1||6||0||0||9|
|University Affairs GC||1||2||Considered as administrative/professional staff for membership on Board||3||2 - 3||4||0||13|
|University Affairs (Non-GC)||3||0||Considered as administrative/professional staff for membership on Board||4||1 - 2||2||2||12|
Appointment of Governing Council Members to Boards and Committees
Section 29 (d) of By-law Number 2 requires that the Governing Council appoint members of the Council to the Boards and to the Standing Committees reporting to the Boards. Also, the Council is required to appoint the Chair and Vice-Chair of a Board from among the members of the Council on the Board.
In the spring of each year, members of the Governing Council are invited to indicate their preferences for membership of Board and Committee assignments for the coming year. Taking into account the preferences indicated, the membership requirements outlined in the Terms of Reference of each Board and Committee, and the appropriate balance of skills and experience among members, and individual expertise, draft recommendations for Board and Committee assignments are submitted by the Chair of the Governing Council to the Executive Committee. The Executive Committee forwards its recommendations to the Governing Council for consideration.
Appointment of Non-Governing Council (Co-opted) Members to Governing Council Boards and Committees
Non-Governing Council, or co-opted, members of Boards and Committees are recommended for appointment by the Striking Committee of the Board. The Striking Committee meets in camera and its recommendations are considered by the Board meeting in camera.
Call for Applications
A Call for Applications for co-opted positions is issued annually, and is distributed widely to members of the University community via email. The Call for Applications is also available on the Governing Council website as is the Co-opt Application Form. Applicants are asked to indicate their estate (administrative staff, alumni, full-time undergraduate student, part-time undergraduate student, graduate student), the academic unit in which they are registered or from which they graduated, or the academic or administrative unit in which they work; the reason that they wish to become involved in University governance, any relevant experience that they have, and their willingness to serve if appointed to the Board or Committee.
The Terms of Reference for the Business Board include the provision that the Chair of the Governing Council and the Chair of the Business Board will take particular responsibility for nominating candidates for the co-opted lay member seats. The co-opted lay member appointments are normally made for three-year terms, which are renewable for a second and, in exceptional circumstances, a third term. In making these appointments, the Board seeks an appropriate balance between continuity and renewal. The Board also seeks to establish a rotation so that the terms of office are staggered and one third of the co-opted lay members’ terms end each year.
Each Striking Committee solicits advice from the Governing Council members in an estate on all of the applicants for a seat to be filled by a member of the estate.
Following the solicitation of advice, the Striking Committee meets and develops its recommendations. In developing its recommendations, the Striking Committee chooses membership that reflects an appropriate balance of continuity and renewal on the Board/Committee, along with individual experience/expertise, as well as representation from a variety of academic and administrative units, academic programs, the three campuses, and full- time and part-time undergraduate students and graduate students.
Vacancies in Co-opted Membership During Term of Office
If a vacancy in a co-opted position exists on a Governing Council Board or Committee, and there is a need to fill the vacated position quickly, the procedures for solicitation of nominations may be modified.
Recommendations to replace co-opted members on a Board or one of its committees are made by the Striking Committee and submitted to the Board for approval.