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 current Rector is Aamer Anwar, a prominent human rights lawyer based in Glasgow.
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.
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, former student|
|2005–2008||Mordechai Vanunu||Israel||Israeli nuclear technician and whistle-blower (Absentee)|
|2008–2014||Charles Kennedy||Scotland||former Leader of the Liberal Democrats, former student|
|2014–2017||Edward Snowden||United States||computer professional/intelligence whistleblower (Absentee)|
|2017–2020||Aamer Anwar||Scotland||Scottish lawyer, human rights campaigner and alumnus|