The successively evolved constitutions of Owens College and the Victoria University were widely influential, but the developing practice of academic governance was perhaps more significant. The original governments of civic colleges were composed almost exclusively of laymen. Laymen founded the colleges, and therefore possessed the absolute but temporary power inherent in creators. Finance would appear to be a matter about which many laymen are at least as skillful and well informed as academics. The power of academics was exercised by a senate which made the vast majority of decisions concerning curriculum, examination, admissions, and appointments, and whose expertise was consulted by council in other matters as well. Once the first creative acts were completed curriculum fell most quickly and completely into faculty hand. The reality behind the apparent mechanics of appointments is perhaps the most nebulous aspect of academic governance. The Colleges’ Principals were immensely important, by virtue of both their formal office and their individual personalities.