Mcgill’s power structures
The Board of Governors (BOG) is an administrative body with final authority on decisions concerning university property and conduct. The BOG determines promotions and tenures in office, or other terms of employment, such as retirement, benefits, and salaries of university personnel. The BOG also selects the Principal from a list of names submitted by the Nomination Committee.
The BOG is composed of 27 people, 25 of whom can vote, and two non-voting observers. The 12 Members at Large make up the largest faction nominated by the BOG Nominating and Governance Committee. The rest of the Board includes the Chancellor, the Principal, and various representatives of the university community. Though not automatic, all governors are eligible for re-election. Undergraduate students are represented by the president of Student Society of Mcgill University (SSMU) for a one year term.
The Board has eight standing committees whose meetings are unpublicized, unless the committee holds an open session. In an open session, community members (including students) may observe, but not participate in the meeting.
One BOG body that gets a lot of press is the Committee to Advise on Matters of Social Responsibility (CAMSR), which reviews issues of social responsibility related to university investments. If you’re interested in getting Mcgill to divest from anything in particular for ethical reasons, CAMSR is the place to focus your energy. That said, they’ve historically been extremely hard to sway. Financial returns generally take precedence, as seen with the Board’s decision maintain their investments in fossil fuels despite widespread condemnation in 2015.