Dear members of the McGill community:

On May 23, 2019, McGill’s Board of Governors held its fifth meeting of the 2018-2019 governance year.

The full minutes of the meeting’s open session will be available following approval at the Board’s next meeting, on October 3, 2019. In the meantime, we would like to share with you the meeting’s important discussions, decisions and developments.

Thank you for reading. If you have any questions, ideas or comments, please write


Suzanne Fortier, Principal and Vice-Chancellor

Ram Panda, Chair, McGill Board of Governors


Key decisions

During the meeting’s closed session, the Board approved the granting of tenure to three Professors, and the promotion of 51 members of the academic staff to the rank of Associate Professor or Associate Librarian with tenure. In addition, the Board approved the promotion of three Associate Professors to the rank of Full Professors. The McGill Reporter will publish the names of the new appointments in the near future.

Based on the recommendation of the Advisory Committee that had been struck to select the Deputy Provost (Student Life and Learning), the Board approved the appointment of Professor Fabrice Labeau to this role.

During the meeting’s open session, the Board of Governors, on the recommendation of the Building and Property Committee, approved the McGill University Master Plan that will guide our university’s physical evolution over the short, medium, and long term. The Plan establishes a principled framework for ensuring that the university’s physical resources help further its priorities and mission.

The Board, on the recommendation of the Finance Committee, endorsed the first phase of the financial plan (five years) related to the McGill University Master Plan.

Principal’s Remarks /Allocution de la principale

Government relations

Hearings with respect to Bill 21 wrapped up at the National Assembly. The bill, as drafted, is not expected to have a direct impact on universities, but we continue to monitor it closely.

McGill is also monitoring possible changes to Quebec immigration law that will result from the eventual passage of Bill 9. These regulations may have an impact on the University’s ability to hire international staff. We have written to government asking to be consulted on the development of these regulations.

Community relations

On May 7, McGill’s School of Continuing Studies celebrated its 50th anniversary at Montreal’s Mount-Royal Club. Students, staff, and alumni participated in this event, showcasing McGill’s innovative approach to lifelong learning.

On May 8, the MAA Honours and Awards Banquet was a wonderful opportunity to recognize the exceptional service, volunteer leadership and philanthropic activities of some of McGill’s alumni, staff and students.

For a seventh consecutive year, the McGill Equity and Community Building Awards recognized and celebrated McGill students, faculty, staff and teams, who focus their energy on pursuits enriching McGill’s commitment to being an equitable and inclusive campus.


Professor Joëlle Pineau, School of Computer Science, was among the six recipients of the Governor General’s Innovation Awards.

Professor Céline Le Bourdais, James McGill Professor of Sociology, was one of 25 honourees at a gala hosted by CIRANO, the Centre universitaire de recherche en analyse des organisations, where she was recognized as a world-renowned demographer.

Professor Jocelyne Feine (Faculty of Dentistry), will receive a doctorate honoris causa—the highest distinction of Université Laval for her contributions in the field of oral health.

Professor Matt Dobbs of the McGill Space Institute was awarded the Killam Fellowship in Natural Sciences.

Political Science professor Krzysztof Pelc won the 2019 CBC Short Story Prize for his story “Green Velvet”.

Dr. Rémi Quirion, Quebec’s Chief Scientist and Professor in the Department of Psychiatry, was inducted into the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame (CMHF) during a special ceremony hosted by the CMHF and the McGill University Faculty of Medicine.

Clean It Up, a student-led initiative, launched a pilot project to clean up the streets and alleyways of Milton Parkat the end of the exam period. Given the success of the project, it is expected that the project will be established on a continuing basis.

McGill University’s Council on Palliative Care will sponsor Imagine Week this coming October, which aims to help individuals and communities find ways to talk about life, death, and end-of-life issues.

Progress reports and presentations

Six of the Board’s nine standing committees presented reports. Click on the links to read the full reports:

  • The Nominating, Governance and Ethics Committee recommended a series of appointments, including appointments of representatives of the Board to serve on advisory committees.
  • The Audit Committee provided progress reports on internal audits as well as an update on recommendations arising from the Enterprise Risk Management assessment.
  • In addition to recommending approval of the Master Plan mentioned above, the report of the Building and Property Committee contained a recommendation to proceed with repairs to the Education Building, which the Board approved, and provided updates on major construction projects, including the RVH.
  • The Information Technology Committee provided updates on IT projects, the financing plan for deferred maintenance on IT initiatives and cyber security.
  • The Executive Committee approved the execution of a contract for the provision of security services with Le Groupe de Sécurité Garda.
  • The Committee to Advise on Matters of Social Responsibility (CAMSR) reported on the Committee’s work to date concerning practices in socially responsible investments at Canadian and international universities and other non-profit organizations.

The Board received the Annual Report of the Committee on Staff Grievances and Disciplinary Procedures. This report was presented to Senate on May 15, 2019. The Board also received the Report from Senate and approved Senate’s recommendations concerning appointments to the Committee on Staff Grievances and Disciplinary Procedures.

Dr. David Eidelman, Vice-Principal (Health Affairs) and Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, presented an overview of Project Renaissance at the Faculty of Medicine.



June 14 2019