Suzanne Fortier, Principal
The Principal is responsible for the general supervision and direction of the university. The position is currently held by Suzanne Fortier, who was elected in 2013, then re-elected May 2017.
The Principal may initiate any project they consider beneficial to the university.
The Principal determines employment terms of non-teaching university personnel, and provides the BOG recommendations concerning promotions, resignations, and removals of all teaching staff. She also has the authority to suspend any member of the teaching staff, or senior administrative officers. She is part of the Senate, and an ex officio member of all Board committees. This means that Fortier is entitled to a vote in every committee, including the Nominating and Governance Committee, which nominates the 12 Members at large on the Board. The Principal is appointed by the BOG from a list of names recommended by the Nominating Committee in consultation with the Advisory Committee, both of which the principal holds voting membership. In other words, the principal is part of a board that elects half of the BOD, which in turn, forms the committee(s) that appoints the principal, who then, upon election, can nominate or fire university staff.
While Principal normally maintains political autonomy from student affairs, she has influenced student governance in the past. In response to the controversial tweet of student representative Igor Sadikov in February 2017, Fortier strongly advocated for Sadikov’s resignation from SSMU. In 2016, Fortier publicly condemned the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement on campus, which had at that time been endorsed by the SSMU General Assembly. In both of these instances, Fortier’s actions drew intense criticism from parts of the Mcgill community.