Collegial governance is the foundation of a cohesive and engaged university community.  Confidence in the CGPS’s governance structure and processes is essential for the college to meet institutional objectives. Revisions to the CGPS governance structure are a major goal in the CGPS strategic plan 2025 (Objective 10). In 2020/21 CGPS performed a systematic comparison of graduate council and committee structures with U15 institutions and undertook a consultation process to understand the challenges in the current state and identify opportunities to improve.  

The governing structure has evolved over many years and a variety of committees have been established with delegated authorities.  The array of governance structures includes Graduate Faculty [Council], CGPS Council, Council Executive and 10 standing committees.

The revisions completed to date to CGPS' governance structure were informed by the issues stakeholders raised and also by the strategic priorities of the university to address inequities and embrace EDI.  Removing redundancy and moving toward highly collaborative and participatory governance structures and practices that promote excellence in graduate education and support the campus community to innovate with respect for the diversity of disciplines, interdisciplinary ventures and many ways of knowing within our university is the foundation of these revisions.

There was not an attempt to address every issue at this stage but to put forward ideas for consideration and promote discussion and gather feedback. nīkānītān manācihitowinihk | ni manachīhitoonaan (“Let us lead with respect”)


Project Goal

The goal of this review is to reconsider our decision-making framework and redefine it through the lens of representative and participative procedures which we need to avoid insularity in graduate governance and to create better coordination.  Once we have affirmed confidence in our governing bodies, we can begin to address the relationships with colleges and schools delivering graduate programs and the balancing of responsibilities for graduate programs – (Strategic Plan 2025 - Goal 11).



Fall 2020 A project plan was presented at the CGPS Council meeting in October 2020.  To begin the process, we engaged members of our committees in preliminary consultations over the fall and winter of 2021/22 where terms of reference of the committees were considered. In the winter of 2021, the dean commissioned a comparative analysis of Graduate Academic Governance across the U15.  The research was performed by Oxana Pimenova, a doctoral student in JSGS.
2020-21 Consultation continued
2021-22 Consultation continued
March 15, 2022 CGPS Council approved changes to its standing committees. (Policy 19)
May 17, 2022 CGPS Faculty Council approved changes to its standing committees. (Policy 19)
Spring/Summer 2022 Consultation on proposed college bylaws
Sept 20, 2022 Notice of Motion
Oct 17-24, 2022 Motion: Electronic Vote 
Nov 2, 2022 Governance Committee
TBD University Council to approve membership

Next steps

Adoption of College Bylaws

The College of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies is unique among colleges in terms of the size of the faculty complement including over a thousand faculty members and hundreds of Adjunct members. The faculty membership mirrors the general academic assembly in size and scope. Due to the size of the graduate faculty complement, the Graduate Faculty Council is a representative body designed to meet the unique needs of the College of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies

The proposed bylaws describe the membership, duties, and procedures relating to the College of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies governance. They are subject to the bylaws, policies, and regulations of the University Council, which establishes faculty councils.

 The proposed bylaws include:

  1. Appointment of Faculty to CGPS
  2. Redefinition of CGPS' one governing body named the College of Graduate and Postdoctoral Faculty Council (CGPSFC) 
  3. Terms of reference of the CGPSFC standing committees

Changes made since the last version was distributed in May 2022 include:

  • Addition of AVPR to Council Membership page (4)
  • Addition to the phrase “quorum shall be …” to specify it applies to sub-committees (page 5)

Notice of Motion Results

“Be it is resolved that the Faculty Council of the College of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies approves the College Bylaws as presented. To be implemented following University Council's approval of the Faculty Council Membership”.

College of Graduate & Postdoctoral Studies Bylaws (proposed) includes the following significant changes:

  1. Definition of the College of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies Faculty Council (CGPSFC) as a representative council.
  2. General regulations for CGPSFC standing committees.

Motion CARRIED 93% in favour.