POLICY TITLE: Policy on the Appointment, Review and Renewal of the Principal of King’s University College

REVIEWED BY: Governance Committee Executive Committee

APPROVED BY: King’s University College Board of Directors and Voting Members of the Corporation of King’s University College

EFFECTIVE DATE:  28 February 2018 

Policy PDF Version

Policy Statement

The Board of Directors of King’s University College (the “Board”) is responsible for the recruitment, appointment and review of the Principal of King’s University College. There is a deep commitment throughout these processes to the principles of transparency balanced by confidentiality and the need for consultation with representatives of King’s and the broader community. While benefiting from such broad consultation, the ultimate decision-making power and responsibility for the transition of executive leadership of King’s rests with the Board.

King’s is committed to advancing the Catholic intellectual tradition and welcomes faculty, staff and students from all faiths and backgrounds.

King’s University College is committed to Employment Equity, welcomes diversity in the workplace, and encourages applications from all qualified individuals, regardless of race, ancestry, place of origin, colour, ethnic origin, citizenship, creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, age, record of offences, marital status, family status or disability.

  1. Principal’s Search Committee
    1. When there is a vacancy or impending vacancy in the position of Principal, the Chair of the Board will convene and appoint, on recommendation from the Board of Directors, an ad hoc Principal’s Search Committee (the “Search Committee”) to advise the Board on an appropriate appointment for this role. The Search Committee will operate as an advisory committee to the Board, and is tasked with making recommendations as the Board proceeds through the selection process for the next Principal for King’s.
    2. It is also anticipated, prior to appointing and convening the Search Committee, that the Executive Committee of the Board will conduct a process that is in keeping with King’s procurement policies to secure proposals from several potential recruitment consultants to assist the selection process. It is further anticipated that the Executive Committee will review the proposals received through that process and will then appoint a Recruitment Consultant to assist in the selection process.
    3. The members of the Search Committee will include:
  • Chair of the Board of Directors;
  • Five (5) additional Elected Directors of the Board, including:
    • the Past Chair and/or the Vice Chair of the Board of Directors;
  • the Foundation Board representative to the Board of Directors;
  • One (1) Voting Member of the Corporation, nominated by that body;
  • Four (4) full–time members of King’s Faculty, nominated by College Council;
  • One (1) King’s Professional Officer, nominated by College Council;
  • One (1) King’s Non-academic Staff member, nominated by College Council;
  • One (1) King’s Students’ Council Executive member, nominated by that body;
  • One (1) member of the Senior Administration, nominated by that body.
  • One (1) member of the Principals’ Group, nominated by the Vice-Principals of King’s;
  • One (1) member of the King’s University College Alumni Association Executive Committee who is not an employee of King’s University College, nominated by the Alumni Association Executive Committee;
  • The King’s Director of Human Resources (non-voting).
  1. Any of the Search Committee members appointed from the Alumni Association, the full– time faculty or staff, and the KUCSC Executive may be serving, concurrently, on the Board of Directors, but such service is not required for appointment. The Chair of the Board shall either elect to serve as Chair of the Search Committee, or shall appoint a Chair from among the Voting Directors of the Board to serve on the Search Committee.
  2. All members of the Search Committee, whether Elected Directors or others representing the King’s community, will be expected to adopt an impartial, transparent role throughout the process. Members who are unable to set aside their own interests in order to pursue the broader best interests of King’s will place themselves in a conflict of interest. No person can serve on the Search Committee if it is deemed that a conflict of interest existed prior to appointment or develops during the search, evaluation and selection process.
  1. Procedures for the Selection of a King’s Principal

The Chair of the Board, prior to the Search Committee beginning its work, will involve the Board of Directors in the process of identifying the required qualifications for the role of Principal, and in outlining the process to be utilized in selecting a Principal.

Without limiting the role of the Board in defining this procedure, it is anticipated that the following elements will be included in the procedure for selection of the Principal:

  1. The work of the Search Committee will benefit from the administrative support of the Director of Human Resources, the Board Secretary, and the Office of the Principal, where appropriate. The Director of Human Resources will maintain a central role in supporting the Search Committee to ensure appropriate adherence to employment standards, applicable legislation and best practices.
  2. The incumbent shall not be a member of the Search Committee. This restriction in no way precludes the Search Committee from seeking the advice of the current Principal throughout the search and evaluation process.
  3. Where a member of the Search Committee consents to be a candidate for the position of Principal, s/he shall immediately cease to be a member of the committee.
  4. It is anticipated that a comprehensive position prospectus/profile will be created in the early stages of this process, and that such document will be shared with the King’s community, with an opportunity for feedback prior to its approval by the Board and prior to the invitation of candidates or nominations for the role of Principal.
  5. The Search Committee will consult external community or other representatives with an understanding of Canadian higher education, to provide commentary or perspective on the selection and evaluation procedure.
  6. It is anticipated that the selection process will include two main phases: the first phase would likely consist of neutral–site, preliminary interviews of a ‘long list’ of prospective candidates from among the nominations and applications received. The second phase would normally include a more comprehensive campus visit by the ‘short list’ of candidates established following the ‘long list’ preliminary interviews. Depending on the circumstances of the search, these standard processes might be modified. For example, if there is an Interim Principal serving a term appointment following the death or departure of the former Principal, the Board may elect to adopt a modified process.
  7. Further to #5, above, the Search Committee will need to provide advice to the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors with respect to a process for managing the short-listed finalists, balancing King’s interest in having a public process with its interest in retaining the best possible candidate for this role, an interest that could result in a confidential process (a hybrid or partially-closed model) for assessing the short-listed finalists that will ensure their continued participation in the process.
  8. It is anticipated that the entire selection process will normally be completed within 12–18 months.
  9. The Chair of the Board will provide the King’s community with regular updates on the selection process, as it unfolds. The Chair of the Board, or his/her designate, is the only person who will act as spokesperson for the Search Committee during the selection process.
  10. To ensure that the selection process respects the professional needs of candidates and is conducted with integrity, strict confidentiality must be maintained by members of the Search Committee. In particular, the identity of any candidates under consideration must not be disclosed, even to the constituencies represented by certain members of the Search Committee. The Chair of the Search Committee is empowered to dismiss a member of that committee if confidentiality is determined to have been violated by that member, or if such member is determined by the Chair to have ignored or failed to follow any of the rules and procedures set for this process.
  11. The Board of Directors will normally confine itself to a consideration of the names presented by the Search Committee. In rare instances and for compelling reasons, the Elected Directors of the Board reserve the right if, in their judgment, circumstances warrant to depart from the recommended candidate(s) or from the procedures suggested in this policy. A final decision to appoint will be made by a quorum of the Elected Directors of the Board, on the basis of a simple majority of those voting. No proxies will be permitted for that vote.
  12. Once the Board of Directors and the Voting Members of the Corporation have approved the appointment of a Principal, the Chair of the Board, or designate, will begin the process for negotiating the terms and conditions of appointment with the Principal-elect within the parameters approved by the Board of Directors. The terms and conditions of appointment will be presented to the Board of Directors for review and approval.
  13. Upon Board approval of the terms and conditions of appointment for the Principal-elect, the Chair of the Board will work with the Principal–elect to create a mutually acceptable communications plan. In particular, this plan may involve collaborating with the home institution of the Principal–elect to ensure consistency and appropriate sequencing.
  1. Annual Performance Review of the Principal
    1. The Executive Committee of the Board of Directors will have responsibility for conducting an annual performance review of the Principal of King’s University College, and will annually recommend to the Board, the performance objectives of the Principal.
  2. Reappointment Procedures for the Principal of King’s University College
    1. Except in unusual circumstances as identified by the Board, approximately twenty-four (24) months prior to the expiry of the term of the Principal and no later than seventeen (17) months prior to the end of the Principal’s term, the Board Chair, on behalf of the Board, will discuss with the Principal his/her willingness to be considered for reappointment. If the Principal is interested in seeking reappointment, the Chair will initiate the process described herein for reappointment, in order to facilitate the Executive Committee’s deliberations about a recommendation to the Board on reappointment.
    2. The process for reappointment should be completed at least fourteen (14) months prior to the completion of the Principal’s term.
    3. The Board of Directors will mandate the Executive Committee to lead the reappointment process, with final approval of the Executive Committee’s recommendation being made to an in camera meeting of the Board of Directors.
    4. The decision on reappointment will include, among other things, a consideration of the results of the annual performance reviews of the Principal held during the term of appointment, and the opportunity for the Principal to present any additional relevant information to the Board.
    5. The Board Chair will prepare for the Executive Committee’s review and approval a list of significant areas of the Principal’s activities, and the Principal will be asked to comment on the list in draft form. A final list will be approved by the Executive Committee and will serve as the basis for any request for feedback on the Principal’s performance.
    6. As part of this preparatory process, the Chair will ask the Principal to prepare a self- assessment of significant accomplishments to date, particularly in the areas selected by the Executive Committee for focus. The Principal will also be asked to comment on what he/she plans to accomplish if re-appointed to an additional term.
    7. The Chair will hold discussions with the Executive Committee in camera about a plan for consultation, and at the Chair’s discretion, may consult other Board members for advice. The Chair will seek the Principal’s comments, prior to the beginning of the consultations, on the consultation plans.
    8. The Board will consult on the performance of the Principal members from the King’s community through the appointment of an ad hoc Advisory Principal’s Review Committee constituted at the Board’s discretion, but which will include the Executive and at least one member of staff, faculty, professional and senior administration, usually drawn from the currently serving members of the Board of Directors. The Board will approve membership and guidelines (including a clear reporting deadline) for such a committee. The Board would in no way be required to accept the recommendations of such a committee.
    9. A general invitation will be issued to members of the King’s community to provide commentary on the Principal’s reappointment. In addition, the Executive Committee will invite, as deemed appropriate and necessary, senior members of King’s academic and administrative leadership, student representatives, and members of College Council, as well as external individuals in a position to comment on the President’s activities, to meet in personal interviews or written submissions to comment on the potential reappointment.
    10. All such input will be confidential, and any notes made during interviews will be destroyed following the Board’s decision.
    11. The Executive Committee will make a recommendation to the Board on reappointment of the Principal. Once the Board has arrived at a final intention to either seek or decline the reappointment of the Principal, such decision will be communicated to the Principal in writing and during a personal discussion with the Board chair, at least fourteen (14) months prior to the expiry of the initial term of appointment.
    12. In the event that both the Board and the Principal have indicated an intention to seek a reappointment of the Principal for a subsequent term and once the Board of Directors has approved the reappointment of a Principal, the Chair of the Board, or designate, will begin the process for negotiating the terms and conditions of reappointment with the Principal within the parameters approved by the Board of Directors. The terms and conditions of the reappointment will be presented to the Board of Directors for review and approval.
    13. Upon Board approval of the terms and conditions of reappointment for the Principal, the Chair of the Board will work with the Principal to create a mutually acceptable communications plan.
    14. In the event that reappointment to a subsequent term will not be sought, as a result of the intention of the Board and/or of the Principal, the Board shall proceed with the process of convening a Search Committee in keeping with this policy.
    15. It is recognized that a Principal may serve multiple subsequent terms of appointment, if deemed to be in the best interests of King’s and the incumbent.
  1. Vacancy Prior to the Expiry of the Term of Appointment of the Principal
    1. In the event that an unanticipated vacancy arises in the office of the Principal prior to the expiry of the Principal’s term of office, either in the initial or any subsequent appointments, due to resignation, death or removal of the Principal from her/his office for any reason, the Board will appoint an Interim Principal to assume the responsibilities of the Principal, so that wherever possible, no vacancy will occur in that office.
    2. Similarly, a Principal who is scheduled to depart at the end of her/his current term of appointment may agree, if requested by the Board, to extend that term for a limited period of time to avoid a vacancy in the office occurring prior to the arrival of that Principal’s successor, or for any other reason determined by the Board to be in the best interests of King’s. However, if such an extension is inappropriate or unavailable, an Interim Principal will be appointed in this way in order to avoid any vacancy in the office of the Principal.
    3. Whatever the circumstances, upon the appointment of an Interim Principal, pending a selection process, the term of that interim appointment will be clearly set. Unless unavoidable, such term should not exceed twelve (12) months.
    4. In the event of an unanticipated vacancy arising in the Office of the Principal, and once an Interim Principal is appointed, the Board will decide whether to convene a Search Committee and immediately begin the selection process in keeping with this policy, or to plan that process for a more appropriate future date. Unless unavoidable, it is not anticipated that a process longer than eighteen (18) months will be required to complete a selection process for the next Principal.