Chancellor (education)

In both Australia and New Zealand, a chancellor is the chairperson of a university's governing body; thus, as well as having ceremonial duties, the chancellor participates in the governance of the university (but not its active management). The chancellor is assisted by a deputy chancellor (known as the pro-chancellor in some universities). The chancellor and deputy chancellor are frequently drawn from the senior ranks of business or the judiciary (it is one of the few jobs considered compatible with judicial service). Some universities have a visitor who is senior to the chancellor. University disputes can be appealed from the governing board to the visitor (as is still the case in the UK), but nowadays, such appeals are generally prohibited by legislation, and the position has only ceremonial functions (unlike the chancellor and deputy chancellor, who frequently preside at functions such as graduations, the visitor rarely attends university functions). The vice-chancellor usually serves as the chief executive of the university.

Lord Grenville as Chancellor of the University of Oxford; painting by William Owen

The number of chancellors in Finnish universities has declined over the years, and in the vast majority of Finnish universities the highest official is the rector. The remaining universities with chancellors are University of Helsinki and Åbo Akademi University.

In Poland, the chancellor (kanclerz) is the head of many universities' administration and the leader of the non-academic staff while the rector is the academic head. The main academic bodies of the university consists of: rektor (the head of the university), prorector (deputy rektor), dziekan (the head of the faculty), prodziekan (deputy dziekan), senat (the main council of the university). In universities with presidential constitution, the university's president holds both the functions of chancellor and rector. Similarly, in Germany the chancellor (Kanzler) is the head of the administration, and regularly is recruited not from a scholarly but from an administrative background. The chancellor is a member of the governing body of the university (Hochschulleitung), which is directed by either a rector (Rektor) or a president (Präsident), whose precise role may vary among universities. Traditionally, the chancellor had the role to represent the local king or later the government in the university and to make sure that the university is compliant with government laws and policies. After universities gained more autonomy in the 20th century, they also got more freedom in choosing the chancellor by themselves. However, still today the chancellor is not an administrator who is entirely subordinate to the president but an office holder who oversees a host of responsibilities assigned to him or her directly by higher education law. This can give the chancelor a considerable veto power in the university leadership.

In Turkey, Russia, and Ukraine, the chancellor is the head of the university and is called "rector." Some universities in Russia and Ukraine have figurehead "presidents."

In India, almost all universities have a chancellor as their titular head whose function is largely ceremonial. The governor of the state, appointed as the union's representative of state by the president, is the honorary chancellor of all State owned universities. The de facto head of any government university is the vice-chancellor. In private non-profit universities, normally the head of the foundation who has established the university is the chancellor of the university and is the head of the university.

In Pakistan, chancellor is normally the figurehead of the university, who is normally the provincial governor where that university exists. Day-to-day business of the university is run by the vice chancellor.

Other universities in the Philippines (such as state universities like Mindanao State University where each constituent campus is headed by chancellor) are mostly headed by their respective university presidents. Meanwhile, private (esp. Catholic) institutions are headed by a rector.

In Nepal, universities have a chancellor as ceremonial head. The de facto head of the university is the vice-chancellor. The chancellor is primarily responsible for attending the convocation programmes and accepting the resignation and appointment letter of a new vice-chancellor. Generally, the prime minister is considered the chancellor, and in his absence, the minister of education acts as the chancellor.

William Smyth, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Oxford; painting by Gilbert Jackson

The President of Bangladesh is the titular chancellor of all universities in Bangladesh, public or private. The vice chancellor is the executive head, and his deputy, the pro-vice chancellor holds a full-time administrative office.

The Prime Minister of Nepal is the titular chancellor of most universities in Nepal, public or private. The vice chancellor is the executive head, and along with Registrar holds a full-time administrative office.

In Sri Lanka, all the government universities are administered by the vice-chancellor.

In Sudan and South Sudan, universities are administered by the vice-chancellor.

In Kenya, chancellors are titular heads of public universities, either appointed by the head of state (president) directly, or, in newly introduced legislation, at the recommendation of senate and alumni of the university. The day-to-day running of universities is the responsibility of the vice-chancellors. "Rector" and "president" are not commonly used terms in university administration. The vice-chancellor is assisted by a number of high ranking University officials known as Deputy Vice-chancellor, popularly referred to as DVC. The DVC's head specific departments of the university such as Finance and Administration, etc.

In Malaysia, all the government universities are administered by the vice-chancellor.

In Nigeria, chancellors are ceremonial heads of public universities (mostly traditional monarchs), appointed by the head of state (president), governor of a state (in the case of state-owned universities) or assumed by the owner of a private university. The day-to-day running of universities is the responsibility of the vice-chancellors. There are also pro-chancellors who are government appointees that head the universities' governing councils. The university governing council is the highest administrative organ of a Nigerian public universities. They approve projects, contracts, recruitments, promotions and are regarded as employer of university workers. They also appoint the principal officers of the university including the vice chancellor. They exercise all these functions on behalf of the "visitor." The visitor is the president of the federation (for federal universities) and state governors for state-owned universities.

In the University of the Philippines, the chancellor assigns different vice-chancellors to handle different aspects of running the university. There is one for instruction, administration, and community affairs, among others.

University chancellor (universitetskansler) is the office of the highest civil servant in the Swedish university system.