University of dundee rector

By | 26th May 2017

University of dundee rector

University of Dundee crest

The Rector of the University of Dundee is elected by the matriculated students of the University. From 1967 (when the University gained independence from the University of St. Andrews) to 2010, the Rector was automatically a full member of the University Court (the University Governing body). The Rector also had the right to appoint an Assessor, who was also a full member of the University Court. Following changes made to the University Charter in August 2010, the Rector must choose to take up full membership of the University Court or appoint an Assessor who has full voting rights.

If the Rector chooses not take up full membership of Court, he retains the right to receive Court papers and attend its meetings but not to vote. The present holder of the position is Mark Beaumont, who assumed the position on 25 January 2016.

Aside from his official duties to the university, the Rector is charged with the responsibility of representing the students of the University who elect him for a three-year term. The Rector is officially installed in a ceremony soon after his election by the University’s Chancellor or, in his place, the Vice-Chancellor.

University of dundee rector


The position of Rector in the ancient universities of Scotland dates back centuries and is one of the oldest offices in academic governance in Scotland. To this day, it exists only in the ancient universities of Scotland and at the University of Dundee, which inherited some of the traditions and governance structure from the University of St Andrews.

The modern Rectorship evolved and was given legal status under the Universities (Scotland) Act 1889. Prior to 1967, the University of Dundee was an integral college of the University of St Andrews and styled as Queen’s College, Dundee, or University College, Dundee. The Rector of the University represented students at all the constituent colleges of St Andrews, including Queens College, Dundee. Therefore, before its independence, the Rector of the University of St Andrews was Rector and the appropriate official for covering what was to become the University of Dundee.

On gaining independent university status in 1967, the position of Rector of the University of Dundee was created under Article 5 of the university’s Royal Charter, which states:

University of dundee rector

“There shall be a Rector of the University who shall be elected by the matriculated students of the University in such manner and for such period as may be prescribed by the Statutes.”

Since 1967, there have been twelve Rectors of the University of Dundee, three of which have served two consecutive terms. Notable is the legend of unconfirmed certainty that a hamster was once nominated for the post. Its acceptance of the nomination was allegedly made with an ink-paw print, which was not permitted by the University on the grounds that true consent could not be assured, and duress may have been involved. The legend may be based on the confirmed story of a goat named Mervyn who was nominated for the position in 1971, but rejected by the returning officer. A dispute over the validity of the 1971 election result caused an unofficial second poll to be organised by the Students’ Association, and Mervyn was permitted to stand in this. Although Mervyn did not win, he beat Paul Foot for third place.