Chancellor of the University of St Andrews

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Bishop Henry Wardlaw, the first chancellor of St Andrews

The Chancellor is the titular head of the University of St Andrews. His duties include conferring degrees, promoting the University’s image throughout the world, and furthering its interests, both within Scotland and beyond.

The Office of the Chancellor has existed since the foundation of the University in the 15th century, and no comprehensive definition of its powers has been made in any modern statute. The most authoritative definition is contained in the return made by the University to the Royal Commission on the Universities and Colleges of Scotland of 1826 which states: "The Chancellor is head of the University. He is consulted on all public matters relative to its welfare, and he is also Conservator of its privileges. The power of conferring degrees is vested in him: this he may exercise either personally when present or by his depute when absent, with the advice of the doctors and masters of the University".

The Universities (Scotland) Act 1858 provides that the Chancellor is to be elected by the General Council, to hold office for life, although Sir Kenneth Dover retired in 2005. With the exception of Dover, every Chancellor of the university has been either an archbishop or a peer. The Chancellor is the ordinary President of the General Council which meets twice each year, in recent years once in St Andrews and once elsewhere in the UK.

The Chancellor appoints an Assessor to be a member of the University's governing body, the University Court.

List of Chancellors of the University of St Andrews[edit]

See also[edit]