Leadership nomenclature change: Principal to President 

Titles like Vice-Principal, Associate Vice-Principal and Assistant Vice-Principal will also be adjusted   

Effective December 12, 2023, McGill is moving to the use of President in English titles and recteur/rectrice in French titles 

Professor Deep Saini’s new title is now McGill President and Vice-Chancellor. The change will also require adjustments to titles like Vice-Principal, Associate Vice-Principal and Assistant Vice-Principal.  

Until now, McGill has been one of the few research-intensive universities to be headed by a principal, a title more commonly used in the school context. The new titles will strengthen McGill’s position internationally, where the titles of President and Vice-President are more recognized. The use of recteur/rectrice and vice-recteur/vice-rectrice in French will also be more consistent with our Quebec and European peers.  

Steps required to make the change 

The Nominating, Governance and Ethics Committee recommended use of the term President, a proposal approved by the McGill Board of Governors on October 5, 2023, following consultations with Senate. To respect the requirements of the Royal Charter under which McGill was founded over two hundred years ago, and the University Statutes, Canada’s Governor General also had to be consulted before the change could be undertaken.  

With the new title now made official, McGill units can start to implement the necessary changes over the next month, aiming to complete as many as possible by the end of January 2024. This time is needed because title changes will entail updating certain office names, awards, initiatives and communications tools, including webpages, stationery and signage. 

Need help with your updates? 

There are community members across the campuses who many need to undertake changes that affect their units. Notably, website owners and site administrators will receive guidelines about how to update their sites shortly.  

Because other changes may vary in nature and consideration, here are some examples of help that can be requested: