Role Statement for Board Chair of the Board of Governors

The University of Guelph Act and the bylaws for the Board of Governors for the University of Guelph provide for the appointment of a Chair from among the members of the Board. 

The Chair of the University of Guelph’s Board of Governors (BOG) is the leader of the Board selected according to Board bylaws.

Role of the Chair

  • In addition to the role and responsibilities of all Governors, the BOG Chair is responsible for: 
  • Ensuring the integrity and effectiveness of the Board’s governance role and processes.
  • Presiding at meetings of the Board, per Board bylaw.
  • Ensuring effective, ongoing relationships and communications between the Board and the President and among Governors concerning matters impacting the University and the functioning of the Board.
  • Maintaining effective relationships with Board members, management and stakeholders.
  • Supporting the President in evaluating key decisions and in interactions with the Board of Governors.
  • As necessary, representing the Board within the University, the University in the community, and the University within provincial and national Board-oriented.organizations. 
  • As required and appropriate, serves as spokesperson for the Board of Governors with the media.
  • Offering a high standard of personal ethics and integrity as a representative of the University and providing leadership consistent with the University’s mission and strategic imperatives.

Board Governance

The BOG Chair ensures the Board meets its obligations and fulfills its governance responsibilities. The BOG Chair oversees the quality of the Board’s governance processes including:

  • Ensuring that the Board performs a governance role that balances independent oversight and respect for the role of management.
  • Ensuring that the Board adopts an annual work plan that is consistent with the university’s strategic directions, mission and vision.
  • Ensuring that the work of Board committees is robust and aligned with the Board’s role and annual work plan.
  • Ensuring effective Board leadership succession by ensuring there are processes in place to recruit, select and train potential future Board Chairs who have the skills, experience, background and personal qualities required for effective Board governance.
  • Ensuring effective Presidential succession by ensuring there are processes in place to recruit, select, and appoint candidates who can provide this leadership role for the University. 
  • Contributing to the Board’s evaluation processes and providing constructive feedback to individual committee chairs and Board members, as required.

Presiding Officer

  • The BOG Chair is the presiding officer at Board meetings. As the presiding officer at Board and member meetings, the Chair is responsible for: 
  • Facilitating and forwarding the business of the Board, including preserving order at Board meetings and ruling on procedural matters during meetings.
  • Encouraging active participation and input while ensuring that all Governors have the opportunity to share perspectives with regard to debate or discussion 
  • so that all matters before the Board are considered fully.
  • Facilitating the Board in reaching consensus.
  • Setting agendas for Board meetings and ensuring matters dealt with at Board meetings appropriately reflect the Board’s role and annual work plan, including the effective and efficient reporting of committee deliberations to the BOG.
  • Ensuring that meetings are conducted according to applicable legislation, university bylaws, and the university’s governance policies and Rules of Order. 

Skills and Qualifications

  • The BOG Chair will possess the following personal qualities, skills, and experience: 
  • All of the personal qualifications required of a Board member.
  • Proven leadership skills.
  • Good strategic and facilitation skills, ability to influence and achieve consensus.
  • Act impartially and without bias, respecting Board approved policy and procedure.
  • Tact and diplomacy.
  • Effective communicator.
  • Political acuity.
  • Must have the time to continue the legacy of building strong relationships between the university and stakeholders.
  • Ability to establish trusted advisor relationship with President and other Governors.
  • Governance and Board level experience in the university sector.
  • Outstanding record of achievement in one or several areas of skills and experience used to select Board members.
  • A proven commitment to the University of Guelph.


Per Board bylaw, the BOG Chair’s term is determined by the Board. Normally, a term of three to four years is specified at the time of the appointment.