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Governing By-Laws

The Council of Victoria College exercises its powers and duties under the provisions of the Victoria University Act.

Membership of Council

The Victoria College Council consists of the President of Victoria University, the Principal of Victoria College, the Registrar of Victoria University, the Chief Librarian of Victoria University, the Dean of Students, all members of the teaching staff of Victoria College, and students of Victoria College to the number of 20% of the non-student members of Council.

The teaching staff includes all those persons holding an academic appointment of more than one year and the academic rank of professor, associate professor, assistant professor, senior lecturer, or lecturer in Victoria College, and those members of the teaching staff of the University of Toronto who have been appointed as Victoria College Fellows by the Victoria College Council.

The student members shall include ten students elected annually by vote of the students of Victoria College, five nominees of VUSAC, and the President of VUSAC ex officio.


The Principal of Victoria College is the Chair of the Council. In the absence of the Principal, the Principal’s nominee or a Chair chosen by vote of the members present shall preside.

The Secretary of Council shall be the Director of Administration in the Office of the Principal. The Secretary shall take charge of the records of the Council, keep regular minutes of its proceedings, issue notices of meetings, conduct all necessary correspondence, and enter such amendments to the governing By-Laws as are approved by Council.


The term of office for members of Council and its committees shall normally be from September 1 to August 31.

Meetings of Council shall be held regularly, at least once each semester during the academic year.

A special meeting may, and at the request of not fewer than five members shall, be called by the Chair, on not less than 48 hours’ notice, for the transaction of such business only as may be specified in the notification of such meeting.

The quorum for a meeting of Council shall be twenty voting members.

Unless otherwise provided for, all questions that come before Council or a committee shall be decided by a majority of members present and voting. In the case of a tie vote, the Chair may cast a deciding vote or redirect the question for further consideration.


The standing committees of Council are: Academic Committee, Research Committee, Fellows Committee, Awards and Prizes Committee and Striking Committee.

The non-student members of the standing committees shall be chosen by May for the following academic year, and the elected student members of the standing committees by October of the current academic year. Any member of Council may nominate or second the nomination of another member of Council, proposed nominations of the Striking Committee notwithstanding. Elections shall be held in those cases where the number of nominees exceeds the number of elected places on each committee.

The Chair of each standing committee, whose consent to serve must be obtained, shall normally be nominated by the Striking Committee.

Membership of standing committees begins on September 1 and ends on August 31. The term of office for non-student members of standing committees is normally two years, with half the membership turning over each year.

Unless otherwise stated, one-half of the members shall constitute a quorum for committees.

Academic Committee

Consists of one member of the teaching staff representing each of the College programs; two additional members of the teaching staff; three students; and the following ex officio members: the President, the Principal, the Academic Programs Director, the Registrar, and the Chief Librarian, with the Director of Administration acting as Secretary. It shall consider and make recommendations on all matters relating to the academic work and the academic future of the College and shall act in an advisory capacity to the Principal and the President in these matters.

The Committee has the authority to approve minor changes to existing academic programs. All such changes shall be reported for information to Council. In the case of major changes, such as the introduction of new programs and the elimination of existing programs, the Committee shall formulate recommendations for approval by Council.

Research Committee

Consists of five members of the teaching staff of the College, the Principal (ex officio), and the Director of Administration in the Office of the Principal (as Secretary). The Committee shall consider, recommend, and assist in planning policies and events that further the research mission of members of the College, liaison with relevant research centres, and the integration of research and teaching. It shall adjudicate and recommend the award of research, publication, and travel grants in the purview of Victoria College and report annually to Council on the results of these competitions.

Fellows Committee

Consists of the Principal (ex officio), the Chair of the Academic Committee (ex officio), the Chair of the Research Committee (ex officio), a member of an Arts and Science department housed at Victoria College who is a Fellow of Victoria College, and three additional members of Victoria College Council. The Committee is empowered to co-opt voting members from the Victoria College Council on a case-by-case basis. The Committee is responsible for defining and promoting the privileges and responsibilities of College membership. It invites, considers, and recommends nominations of new members to Council for approval. The Committee also assists in enhancing the academic and social experience of College Fellows.

Awards and Prizes Committee

Consists of the Registrar or designate (ex officio), the Principal or designate (ex officio), and twelve to fourteen members of the Victoria College teaching staff. It shall have responsibility for advising the Registrar on student awards and prizes that require academic adjudication. It shall invite, consider, and assist with the nomination of members of Victoria College for external awards and honours. The Committee shall be empowered to co-opt voting members from the Victoria College community, including retired faculty, as needed to assist in evaluating submissions or preparing nominations.


Striking Committee

Consist of four members elected by Council, the Principal (ex officio), and the President of VUSAC (ex officio). Its function is to seek the guidance of Council with a view to proposing suitable lists of candidates for elected positions on Standing Committees, and candidates for elected positions on the Board of Regents and the Senate Executive Committee. It shall propose candidates to Council by the last meeting of Council in the spring term.

College Representatives to the Board of Regents and the Senate Executive Committee

Six members of the teaching staff of Victoria College shall be elected by Council to the Board of Regents for terms of four years, three every second year. Four members of the teaching staff of Victoria College shall be elected by Council to the Senate Executive Committee for terms of four years, two every second year. The Board and Senate Executive representatives will be elected at the last meeting of Council in the spring semester.


These By-Laws may be amended by a two-thirds majority of the members present at a properly constituted meeting. Notice of proposed amendments must be circulated 10 days prior to the meeting at which they are to be considered.