Fonds I0010 - Office of the Principal fonds

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Office of the Principal fonds

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  • Multiple media

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  • [ca. 1924] - 1985 (Creation)
    Sir George Williams University. Office of the Principal

Physical description area

Physical description

14.32 m of textual records
438 photographs
15 cartographic documents
18 objects
2 sound recordings

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Archival description area

Name of creator

(1925 - 1974)

Administrative history

The Office of the Principal of Sir George Williams University has its origins in the reorganization of the educational program of the Montreal Young Men's Christian Association (Y.M.C.A.) in the 1920s, culminating in the establishment of a separate branch called the Montreal Y.M.C.A. Schools in 1925. The schools thus became a separate unit in the Montreal Metropolitan Y.M.C.A. organization, under the direction of its own Board of Management (which became the Board of Governors in 1937) and its own executive head, the Principal. In 1926, the Montreal Y.M.C.A.Schools became a coeducational institution and changed its name to Sir George Williams College. The Principal was appointed by the Montreal Y.M.C.A. Metropolitan Board on the advice of the Sir George Williams College Board of Management. A. W. Young was the first Principal; his term of office was 1925-1928. In 1948, Sir George Williams College obtained a university charter. That year a special by-law (art. VII, sect. 11) of the Corporation of Sir George Williams College defined the duties of the Principal as follows:

"The Principal of the College, under the direction of the Board of Governors, shall have charge and general control of the work of the College, and shall attend meetings of the Board of Governors and of Committees of the Board. He shall certify all contracts and all bills for payment. He shall define the duties of all employees of the College, who shall report to him as the Executive Officer of the Board in such manner as he may direct."

In 1959, the College requested that the Quebec Legislature amend its charter, changing its name to Sir George Williams University. In 1974, the University merged with Loyola College to create Concordia University. The Office of the Principal of Sir George Williams University thereafter became the Office of the Rector of Concordia University.

The Office of the Principal of Sir George Williams College and later, University, played a significant leadership role in the development of the institution. The Office of the Principal was occupied not only with day-to-day affairs, but also provided vision and guidance for the development of the fledgling institution. Sir George Williams began as a small institution with an unrecognized program, growing dramatically in the period after World War II and again in the 1960s, when there was a dramatic increase in demand for higher education.

The Principals of Sir George Williams College and University were:

Anson W. Young 1925-1928
Frederick O. Stredder 1928-1935
Kenneth E. Norris 1936-1956
Henry F. Hall 1956-1962
Robert C. Rae 1962-1968
Douglass B. Clarke 1968-1969
John W. O'Brien 1969-1974. (O'Brien became Rector of Concordia University in 1974.)

Name of creator

(1974 -)

Administrative history

The Office of the President and Vice-Chancellor of Concordia University has its origins in the Office of the Principal of Sir George Williams University (SGWU). On August 10, 1973, with the imminent ratification of the merger between SGWU and Loyola College to create Concordia University, a new SGWU Board of Governors was established composed of equal membership from both institutions. On the same day, among new officers appointed, John W. O’Brien, Principal of SGWU, became Rector and Vice-Chancellor, and Patrick Malone, President of Loyola College, became Vice-Rector and Principal of Loyola campus. However, the new university received its official establishment from Quebec only a year later, in August 1974. During this instable situation, the Office of the Rector of Sir George Williams University (“to be known as Concordia University”) operated as much as possible as though Concordia was legally in existence. The English-language titles of Rector and Vice-Chancellor were changed to President and Vice-Chancellor by the Board of Governors, on June 17, 2004. However, the French-language nomenclature for these positions, Recteur and Vice-Chancellier, remained unchanged. As chief executive officer of the University, the President and Vice-Chancellor is responsible for the execution of the decisions of the Board of Governors and of Senate. Vice-Presidents and Chief Officers are reporting to the President, as well as different administrative bodies.

Custodial history

Scope and content

The fonds provides information on the evolution of Sir George Williams University and on the beginning of Concordia University. This fonds is mainly composed Dr. John W. O’Brien’s files as Principal of SGWU until 1974 and as Concordia University’s first Rector until May 1984. There are also some Michael Sheldon's files as Assistant to Principal of SGWU.

The fonds includes such textual records as correspondence, minutes, financial and other reports, clippings, and procedures and policies. It includes photographs, cartographic items, artifacts, and sound recordings. The fonds is divided into the following series:

I010/01 Associations
I010/02 Budget
I010/03 Budget control and accounting
I010/04 Buildings and properties
I010/05 Committees
I010/06 Computer facilities and operations
I010/07 Conferences, seminars, and special activities
I010/08 Cooperation and exchange activities
I010/09 Curriculum and programs
I010/10 Financing
I010/11 General correspondence
I010/12 Insurance
I010/13 Legal affairs and contracts
I010/14 Libraries and documentation centres
I010/15 Publications
I010/16 Publicity and public relations
I010/17 Relations /services, external
I010/18 Relations /services, internal
I010/19 Research activities
I010/20 Scholarships, awards and prizes
I010/21 Staff, general
I010/22 Staff, administrative and support
I010/23 Staff, teaching
I010/24 Statistics
I010/25 Student life
I010/26 Student records
I010/27 Teaching activities
I010/28 University organizations, policy and planning
I010/29 Photographs

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Arrangement in accordance with the Concordia University Filing System - 1990

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