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The Board of Governors of Dalhousie University is responsible for the overall conduct, management, administration and control of the property, revenue and business of the university. The board represents the interests of the institution in directing its affairs within the statutes relating to Dalhousie University. The board maintains a stewardship role, delegating the day-to-day management of the university to the president and the senior administration. The board also respects the responsibility of the University Senate to adopt policies on academic matters subject to board approval.
In 1818 Lord Dalhousie formed a Board of Trustees to oversee the building and establishment of the college. These trustees—local religious leaders and representatives from the Nova Scotia government—formed the basis of the seven-member Board of Governors incorporated in 1821. Since then the administrative structure of the board has undergone many changes. It was dissolved in 1840 and reformed to facilitate the growth of the new college. In 1863 an “Act for the Regulation and Support of Dalhousie College” replaced all earlier statutes regarding the board. The 1935 Dalhousie Act changed the way board members were appointed, attempted to create a closer working relationship between the University Senate and the Board of Governors, and formed an Executive Committee with the power to act between meetings.
The Board of Governors currently has a membership of twenty-six people, including ex-officio members, alumni, faculty and student representatives, who form internal committees dedicated to specific areas of university affairs ranging from staff relations to pension investments.
Past chairs include Lord Dalhousie (1818-1820); James Kempt (1820-1826); M. Wallace (1826-1836); Sir Colin Campbell (1836-1840); Lord Falkland (1840-1848); Sir William Young (1848-1885); Sir Adams G. Archibald (1885-1893); John Doull (1893-1900); John F. Stairs (1900-1905); Thomas Ritchie (1905-1908); George S. Campbell (1908-1929); G. Fred Pearson (1929-1932); Hector McInnes (1932-1938); James McGregor Stewart (1938-1942); Lieutenant-Colonel K.C. Laurie (1942-1957); Brigadier H.V.D. Laing (1957-1959); Donald McInnes (1959-1968); A.G. Archibald (1981-1986); W. Struan Robertson (1986-1991); George C. Piercy (1991-1993); Allan C. Shaw (1993-2000); James S. Cowan (2000-2008); Jim Spatz (2008-2014); and Larry Stordy (2014-).