Maggie Chapman was elected University Rector in November 2014 and took up her post in April 2015. The Rector's term ended on December 31st 2011, and elections will take place to find a successor in early 2018.
The Rector of the University is an ancient post dating back to the foundation of the University in 1495. Since 1860 the Rector has been students' only representative and in more recent years, their main representative on the University Court. Rectors serve for three years and appoint to the Court a Rector's Assessor; student's interests are further served on the Court by the President of the Students' Association.
The Rector plays an important role in representing and supporting the students of the University. The position of Rector is one that is independent of both the Students' Association and University administration, allowing the Rector a direct relationship with the students. One of the principal duties, which in the present case has been discharged by delegation in order to avoid any conflict of interest, is to chair the University Court at which all major decisions are taken.
Effective student representation at Court is therefore ensured by the presence not only of the rector but also the President of the Students' Association and the Rector's Assessor. The Rector holds occasional surgeries to which any student who would like to raise a particular issue or concern is welcome. The Rector also spearheads wider campaigns, both within the University and nationally, to ensure that student life at Aberdeen continues to meet the needs of all students.