Toronto, ON – At a quarterly meeting of its Governing Board yesterday, Massey College approved, unanimously, the term of “Principal” for the head of College, replacing the title “Master”.
The Governing Board received the unanimous recommendation of a special Task Force that considered various options for the Head of College title. The report and recommendations from the Task Force were shared with the entire college community in early January, along with a survey canvassing views of all members of the College. Over 74 percent of respondents approved the proposed change to Principal while just under nineteen percent were opposed, with under seven percent being uncertain.
The Task Force was made up of members of the Massey community, and was appointed by the board in September of 2017. Its work followed upon consideration of the Head of College title by the Governance sub-committee of the board, a proposal from a group of Junior Fellows to change the head of College title to “Provost” in the fall of 2016, a debate on the issue as part of the March 2017 Junior Common Room meeting and an initial reference to a possible title change in a general governance review commenced in 2015 by a special sub-committee of the board.
The Task Force report referenced the decisions of Harvard, Princeton and Yale to set aside the “Master” title, the decision of York University to do the same, and the fact that 28 of the Oxford colleges use a title other than “Master”. Goodenough College in London, UK, and Green College in Vancouver, both graduate residential colleges affiliated with Massey, use Director and Principal respectively.
Massey College is an independent graduate residential college at the University of Toronto. Its Principal, Hugh Segal, was elected as the Head of College in December of 2013.
“The decision-making process was thoughtful, balanced and inclusive, with a full canvass of the Massey community’s views,” commented Governing Board Chair, Senior Fellow Alan Broadbent, who also thanked the Task Force for its work. “I am encouraged that across all parts of the community, Junior and Senior Fellows, Alumni and members of the Quadrangle Society, support levels for the new title, as recommended by the Task Force were uniformly high,” added Principal Hugh Segal. “In an inclusive and diverse college, on the campus of an inclusive, cosmopolitan university, in a city where diversity is a social and economic strength of immense proportions, setting aside the former title of ‘Master’, is a constructive and important step,” Segal added.
Media inquiries: The Hon. Hugh Segal, 416-978-2549