Like many universities in Canada, Wilfrid Laurier University has a bicameral governance system. At Laurier, our bicameral governance system provides for two separate and distinct governing bodies: the Senate and the Board of Governors. The powers of both the Senate and the Board of Governors are set out in the Wilfrid Laurier University Act (the Act).
While each governing body has its own responsibilities, there are many areas where both bodies must act in order to advance a university initiative. For example, the creation of a new academic department requires that Senate review and recommend the proposal to the Board; the Board then considers the proposal, including its financial and other implications for the university, before approving the new department.
The Act also outlines the membership of each governing body, which is broadly representative of the university community and external stakeholders. Each governing body has appointed and elected members, with cross-appointments to ensure open communication between the two.
The president of Laurier is appointed by the Board of Governors, following advice from the Senate. The president is the chief executive officer of the university and has supervision over, and direction of, the academic work and general administration of the university, the members of faculty, officers, employees and students thereof, and such other powers and duties as from time to time may be conferred upon or assigned to the president by the Board of Governors.
The Board of Governors, following advice from the Senate, also appoints a vice-president: academic, and may appoint one or more additional vice-presidents who make up the university's senior leadership team.
The University Secretariat provides professional advice to and facilitates the work of the Senate, Board of Governors, their committees and councils, participants and resources on all matters relating to university governance. The Secretariat is responsible for supporting the development, revision and interpretation of university-level policies, and keeping the official records of governing documents and records of decisions made by the governing bodies.