General Guidelines and Principles for Selection of a Presidential Search Committee

Policy – Composition

The composition of the committee as defined by Policy Respecting the Appointment of a President (1999) is:

  • the Chairman of the Governing Council or a lay member of Council appointed by the Chairman (Chair of the Committee);
  • 2 appointees of the Lieutenant Governor-in-Council to the Governing Council;
  • 3 alumni of the University, who are neither staff nor students of the University;
  • 5 members of the teaching staff of the University, no more than two of whom may be current holders of academic administrative posts;
  • 1 member of the administrative staff of the University; and
  • 3 students (one full-time undergraduate, one part-time undergraduate and one graduate student).

The Committee should include but need not have a majority of its members from the Governing Council. The Secretary of the Governing Council, or a person approved by the Executive Committee, shall be Secretary of the Search Committee.

General Guidelines – Committee Specifications

In keeping with the intent of the Policy, several factors are considered to ensure that the Search Committee as a whole:

  • reflects the organizational complexity and diversity of the University community.
  • contains a wide range of experiences and skills that will be relevant to the work of the Committee, that is the perspective of excellent working scholars and also those who are involved with University leadership and policy issues.
  • brings together specific kinds of expertise that will help the Committee evaluate presidential candidates’ multi-dimensional capabilities in such areas as: overall leadership, fiscal management, and relations with internal and external communities, including staff, students, governors, alumni, public office holders, corporate and community leaders and donors.
  • conducts its affairs in camera and adheres to strict standards of confidentiality on matters related to the Committee’s work.

Specific Principles – Individual Members

First Principle: Very High Standards

The University’s new President will be expected to embody and exemplify the best possible personal attributes and professional qualifications, and in doing so, will symbolize the University’s greatness and its excellence. It is therefore essential that the individuals comprising the Search Committee, and who are collectively responsible for the success of this endeavour, reflect the finest members of the University’s broad community. Presidential candidates of the highest calibre, need and want to be assessed and selected by the best, most impressive individuals. It is also well known that top-rate candidates’ decisions are influenced by the person(s) interviewing and/or conveying information and standards to them. Similarly, prestigious universities are known to have their top scholars persuade presidential candidates to be considered and to accept the position. Therefore, just as we will set the highest standards for the presidential qualifications both on professional and personal attributes we will do so for the Search Committee members as well.

Experience and Profile Characteristics

Administrative Staff should:

  • be able to offer a reasonably comprehensive view of and be sensitive to the administrative staff experience or issues at the University.
  • have demonstrated engagement in the University through, for example, leadership activities.

Alumni should:

  • reflect broadly the alumni community, i.e degree program or academic division and time from graduation.
  • include representation from the University’s donor community.
  • include individuals who are closely connected to and actively involved with the University and those who are informed but less closely involved.

Lieutenant Governor-in-Council appointees to the Governing Council should:

  • be able to relate broadly to the entire lay community, including federal, provincial and municipal governments and the donor community.
  • be able to serve several more years on the Governing Council.

Students should:

  • have a distinguished record of academic achievement.
  • reflect a balance among disciplines and campuses
  • have demonstrated engagement in the University through, for example, leadership activities.

Teaching Staff should:

  • be exemplary scholars.
  • reflect a range of disciplines / academic divisions and the three-campus nature of the University.
  • include individuals who are in early, mid- and later stages of their academic careers.
  • include individuals with academic and / or administrative experience at universities other than the University of Toronto.

Finally, the groups should be seen by their respective constituencies to be representative of the constituency.


Approved by Executive Committee (March 29, 2012)