Governance System

Governance is the processes and practices through which an entity organizes itself to achieve its mandate. It is concerned with the structures and procedures for decision-making, accountability, control and codes of conduct. It is expressed through legislation, policies and by-laws, and informal norms. The goal of effective governance is a robust organization that achieves peak performance and is accountable to the people it serves.

The University of Alberta governs itself with a bi-cameral governance structure, as set out in the Alberta Post-Secondary Learning Act. The Board of Governors has authority for board governance and the General Faculties Council (GFC) has authority for academic governance.

While senior authority rests with the Board of Governors, both Board and GFC conduct their business respecting jurisdictions, capitalizing on shared interests, and sharing governance authority within a collegial relationship based upon a mutual desire to serve the greater good of the institution.

The Board of Governors and the General Faculties Council, at the highest level of institutional governance, rely on effective structures, powerful instruments and time-honoured techniques to ensure that the University honours its mission, mandate, values and vision while complying with legislative requirements.

At the University of Alberta, the University Governance unit, under the direction of the University Secretary, provides support for all areas of the Board and GFC, enabling both bodies (and their respective standing committees) to govern the institution in a timely and effective manner.