Board of Governors

The Board

The Saint Mary’s University Act, 1970, as amended in 2007 (“Act”) sets out the objects and powers of Saint Mary’s University (“University”), and defines the membership of the Board of Governors (“Board”). The powers and duties of the Board are in the Act. The Board of Governors exercises diligent stewardship, guiding the University in the public interest and respecting academic tradition. The Board acts according to high ethical standards within the framework provided by the law and the governance processes of the University.

The Board consists of members of the University community, including alumni, faculty, students, and committed volunteers from the community at large. Through its stewardship role, the Board oversees the conduct of the University’s affairs, ensuring through the President that a qualified and diligent team carries out the day-to-day activities with respect to the University’s financial and other resources, and together with the Senate, fulfills the mission of the University.

The Board’s Key Responsibilities

  • Academic quality: providing oversight of the University’s strategic direction to ensure academic quality, oversight of the academic and research plans while respecting the Senate’s responsibilities for setting educational policies.
  • Student experience: ensuring that the policies and strategic directions of the University advance the quality of the student experience, including a strong and comprehensive institutional commitment, focused on academic excellence, discovery and innovation and the continued health and wellness of our students.
  • Strategy: providing advice to the President on the development and expression of the University’s overall vision and long-term strategic direction, and by approving the strategic plan and providing stewardship of its implementation.
  • Protection and enhancement of the University's assets: monitoring and oversight in the following areas:
  • performance against the strategic, operating and capital plans
  • principle risks to ensure effective identification and management systems and controls are in place
  • human resource policies including recruitment, retention and succession planning, and reports on critical HR matters relating to, among others, ethical conduct, employee health and safety and human rights
  • integrity of internal controls and management information systems
  • reputation of the University, ensuring the existence of systematic tracking, analysis, and management of factors which could have a reputational impact
  • Appointment and Oversight of the President: recruiting and hiring of the President, establishing the goals, objectives, performance standards and evaluation criteria and process to ensure that the President is advancing the strategic priorities and objects of the University, and ensuring a succession plan is in place for the President.
  • Governance: managing the processes for appointing Governors, establishing a committee structure to help carry out the work of the Board, ensuring the orientation of Governors with respect to their role as fiduciaries and their responsibility to be knowledgeable about the context in which they are asked to make decisions, as well as providing ongoing educational opportunities to ensure that Governors are current on a range of matters related to the execution of their responsibilities, and regular evaluation of Board performance against defined principles, and relative best practices in post secondary governance, to ensure continuous improvement and the highest standards.
  • Advancement: informing and participating in all aspects of the University’s advancement programs and strategies; including alumni, community and government relations, fundraising and philanthropy as well as serving as vocal ambassadors and advocates in the community and with personal and professional networks.


  • Claire Milton, University Secretary
    Phone: 902-491-6565
  • Barb Bell, Assistant University Secretary
    Phone:  902-420-5412
  • Marie Harding, Administrative Assistant and Recording Secretary
    Phone: 902-420-5209

If you have questions about the work of the Board of Governors, please send them to the University Secretary at 

Correspondence to the Board should be addressed to the Chair and sent to