Rector of the University of Glasgow
The (Lord) Rector of the University of Glasgow is one of the most senior posts within the institution, elected every three years by students. The theoretical role of the Rector is to represent students to the senior management of the University and raise issues which concern them. In order to achieve this, the Rector is the statutory chair of the Court, the governing body of the University.
The position's place in the university was enshrined by statute in the Universities (Scotland) Act 1889, which provided for the election of a Rector at all of the universities in existence at the time in Scotland (being St Andrews, Glasgow, Aberdeen and Edinburgh). Students of the University of Dundee also elect a Rector.
The previous Rector, Aamer Anwar, a lawyer based in Glasgow, chose not to seek reelection, and elections to choose his successor were postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The election were ultimately held in April 2021, with Rita Rae, Lady Rae being elected to succeed Anwar as Rector.
Students have not always voted for working rectors; anti-apartheid activists Winnie Mandela (1987–1990) and Albert Lutuli (1962–1965) were elected on the understanding that they would be unable to undertake the position's responsibilities, while Mordechai Vanunu (2005–2008) was unable to fulfil his duties as he was not allowed to leave Israel and Edward Snowden (2014–2017) was not expected to fulfill his duties due to an ongoing self-imposed exile in Russia. However, other recent Rectors have been elected on the presumption they will be working rectors, e.g. Ross Kemp (1999–2000), who resigned from the post after the Students' Representative Council voted to request his resignation, such was the extent of student dissatisfaction with his performance. At the Rectorial election in February 2004, no nominations for the post of Rector had been received. Upon the end of Greg Hemphill's term, the University was left without a Rector for the first time in the position's history. The University Senate set another election date for December, when Mordechai Vanunu was elected. The post was left vacant for a second time at the end of Aamer Anwar's term in March 2020, with the scheduled Rectorial election postponed until March 2021 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Until 1977, for Rectorial election purposes, the University was divided into four 'nations' based on the students' birthplace, originally called Clidisdaliae, Thevidaliae, Albaniae and Rosay, and later as Glottiana, Loudoniana, Transforthana and Rothseiana. Three of the 'nations' consisted of defined areas in Scotland, with Loudoniana consisting of students from all other places.
List of RectorsEdit
|1690–1691||David Boyle||Scotland||Lord Clerk Register|
|1691–1718||Sir John Maxwell of Nether Park||Scotland||Commissioner for Renfrewshire in the Scottish Parliament|
|2001–2004||Greg Hemphill||Scotland||actor and alumnus|
|2005–2008||Mordechai Vanunu||Israel||Israeli nuclear technician and whistle-blower (Absentee)|
|2008–2014||Charles Kennedy||Scotland||former Leader of the Liberal Democrats and alumnus.|
|2014–2017||Edward Snowden||United States||computer professional/intelligence whistleblower (Absentee)|
|2017–2020||Aamer Anwar||Scotland||Lawyer, human rights campaigner and alumnus|
|2021-present||Rita Rae, Lady Rae||Scotland||Lawyer and judge|
- "University of Glasgow rector Aamer Anwar not seeking re-election in 2020 election"
- UofG Rector Elections 2020 (Archived from the original on 5 February 2021. Retrieved 17 February 2021.)
- News, Scottish Legal. "Lady Rae in running to become Glasgow University's next rector". Scottish Legal News. Retrieved 21 April 2021.
- Historical perspective for Glasgow
- Edward Snowden elected as rector of Glasgow University