Who Runs Concordia?

The Long and Short on Who’s Steering The Ship at ConU

  • From left to right: Alan Shepard, President; Benoit-Antoine Bacon, Provost and VP Academic Affairs; Melissa Kate Wheeler, CSU President; Normand Hébert, Jr., Chairman of Board of Governors. Graphic Graeme Shorten Adams.

Governance


Board of Governors:

At the very top of Concordia’s teetering tower of governance sits the Board of Governors. The BoG is Concordia’s highest governing body. They call the shots, for the most part.

Comprised of 25 voting members—including six faculty representatives, three student representatives, and 15 external members made of various corporate higher-ups from around Montreal and beyond—the BoG is tasked with laying out the framework for the entire university, how it’s operated, and approve spending.

For you policy and governance aficionados, or any aspiring student politicos, Board meetings can be pretty entertaining. While students are no longer allowed to watch from inside the meeting, a separate viewing room is set up with a live stream in the Hall Building.

Senate:

Nestled humbly beneath the Board of Governors’ ultimate power, Concordia’s Senate is the second-highest governing body at the university and is responsible for all academic regulations at the university.

Senate is made up of 55 voting members, including 12 undergraduate and four graduate student representatives.

If you’re a policy freak, get in touch with Concordia Student Union VP Advocacy and Academic Gene Morrow, who has conveniently compiled a massive searchable document of all past Senate meeting minutes. You can also find the minutes, broken down by date, of all past meetings on Concordia’s archives website.

Labour Unions:

Among the very loud and active student body, there are equally loud and important unions that represent Concordia’s staff and faculty.

The Concordia University Part-Time Faculty Association, mandated essentially to support and negotiate for the rights of its members, has been making noise in particular recently. They’ve been fighting for the rights of their members and members of all other labour unions currently mired in the muck of painfully slow contract negotiations at Concordia.

There are currently 14 unions at Concordia without contracts, some for as many as five years. You can bet that you’ll be hearing a lot more about this group in coming months.

Student Governance


CSU/GSA:

When it comes to undergraduate student governance at Concordia, the highest body is the Concordia Student Union.

The CSU, which represents over 30,000 undergrads, is led by an eight-member executive committee. You’ve probably seen them around campus or at just about every Frosh-related event on campus this week. While they are very much the face of the CSU, members of the executive committee are essentially employees of the union. Their other half, the Council of Representatives, is made up of 27 undergrads from different faculties, and is the main decision-making body for the union.

The CSU meets roughly once a month for long and severely entertaining council meetings. All students are welcome to sit in on these meetings.

The Graduate Student Association is the graduate student equivalent to the CSU. While they occasionally collaborate or come together for causes, the two unions work separately for the most part.

Faculty Associations:

There are four faculty associations within the CSU—the Arts and Science Federation of Associations, the Fine Arts Student Alliance, the Engineering and Computer Science Association, and the Commerce and Administration Students’ Association.

Within each of these four faculty associations are a number of smaller departmental associations that represent students within specific departments. These departmental associations are particularly important in dealing with the specific needs of each department within each faculty. Visit the CSU’s website for more information.

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