Terms of Reference for the Advisory Committee to the Principal Regarding the Selection of a Candidate to Serve as Queen’s University’s 15th Chancellor


Pursuant to the Queen’s Charter, the University Council is vested with the authority to appoint the Chancellor as the highest officer of the University.


Chancellor Jim Leech began his term as Queen’s University’s 14th Chancellor on July 1, 2014 and his term was extended for an additional year on April 25, 2019. His term is scheduled to conclude on June 30, 2021.

Twelve months before the end of the Chancellor’s term, the Executive Committee of the Council, through the Principal, is required to discuss with the Chancellor her/his wish to be considered for re-appointment to a subsequent term. Mr. Jim Leech, Queen’s University’s 14th Chancellor, has confirmed that he does not wish to be considered for re-appointment.

Under the Charter of Queen’s University, the election of a Chancellor is the responsibility of the University Council. According to the By-laws of the Council, in the case of a vacancy, or pending vacancy, in the Office of the Chancellor, the Executive Committee is required to ask the Principal to form an advisory committee to select the next Chancellor.

The Advisory Committee is an advisory body to the Principal and is established to solicit and review nominations, in confidence, and to recommend a candidate for the Office of Chancellor to the Principal.

When the Advisory Committee has made a recommendation to the Principal, the Principal shall inform the Executive Committee and ask for the Executive Committee's approval to bring the recommendation for appointment forward for endorsement by the University Council.

Accordingly, pursuant to the provisions of By-law E of University Council, an Advisory Committee to the Principal Regarding the Selection of a Candidate to serve as Queen’s University’s 15th Chancellor has been established.


Historically, being an advisory committee to the Principal, the composition of the Committee was previously wholly within the discretion of the Principal. In response to past feedback, the Executive Committee of University Council has decided to increase University Councillor membership on the Search Committee and to take a role in the selection of these members.


  • Principal Patrick Deane (Chair) (votes only in the case of a tie)
  • Chair of the Board of Trustees
  • Rector
  • Council Trustee, as chosen by the Executive Committee on recommendation from the Nominating Committee. The Nominating Committee shall confer with the Chair of the Governance and Nominating Committee of the Board of Trustees prior to making a recommendation.
  • Two University Councillors, one of whom is a member of the Executive Committee (neither of whom are Council Trustees), as chosen by the Executive Committee on recommendation from the Nominating Committee
  • Faculty Senator, as chosen by the Principal
  • Staff Senator, as chosen by the Principal
  • Queen’s University Alumni Association (QUAA) Board member, as chosen by the QUAA Board
  • Queen’s Benefactor, as chosen by the Principal


  • University Secretary
  • Associate University Secretary
  • Vice-Principal (Advancement)
  • Associate Vice-Principal (Human Rights, Equity, and Inclusion) or delegate
  • Associate Vice-Principal (Indigenous Initiatives and Reconciliation) or delegate
  • Senior Advisor and Executive Director (Office of the Principal and Vice-Chancellor)


1.1 In order to respect the dignity of the Office of the Chancellor, and to preserve the honour of the University, all members of the Advisory Committee shall scrupulously and conscientiously observe the rules of confidentiality requisite for the task with which the Committee is charged. To evidence such a commitment, all members of the Committee are required to sign an undertaking regarding confidentiality, collegiality and conflicts.

1.2 The Committee will establish a consultation process and period during which it will solicit nominations from all interested individuals, in confidence. The Committee members, themselves, are eligible to nominate individuals to serve as Queen’s 15th Chancellor.

1.3 The Committee will establish the desirable attributes for Queen’s Chancellor against which to assess nominations, and shall consult broadly with the Queen’s Community about these.

1.4 The establishment of the Committee, and its composition, is to be announced, at a minimum, in the Gazette, along with an invitation to provide confidential nominations from interested parties. The Committee will determine what additional measures and methods it will employ to effect broad consultation through the approval of a consultative process.

1.5 The Committee shall communicate regularly with the University Community and with the University Council about its progress throughout the search process.

1.6 When the Committee has formulated a recommendation with respect to the identification of a candidate for the Office of Chancellor, it will submit a report to the Principal with its recommendation. The members of the Committee may be requested to be present at the Executive Committee meeting when its recommendation is placed before it for consideration.

1.7 Following presentation of its recommendation to the Executive Committee, the Secretariat shall invite the members of the Committee to provide their views on the process used for the selection of the candidate in order to inform future searches. Thereafter the Committee shall be dissolved.