Nominations for Rector announced

Published: 30 January 2008

Four nominees - Aamer Anwar, Patrick Harvie MSP, Charles Kennedy MP, and Hardeep Singh Kohli - are standing for Rector of the University of Glasgow.

Four nominees - Aamer Anwar, Patrick Harvie MSP, Charles Kennedy MP, and Hardeep Singh Kohli - are standing for Rector of the University of Glasgow, it was announced today (30 January).  The election takes place on 26 and 27 February 2008.
Students Representative Council president, Mhairi Wilson said: "We are really excited about the upcoming election and look forward to gaining a dedicated and working rector. It will be an interesting competition, and whichever candidate will be elected, we hope that the new rector will be willing and able to engage with the students."

Nominating Aamer Anwar, Raymond Kiernan and Tara Topteagarden said: “We need a Rector who is not afraid to take a stand. Aamer Anwar is a Scottish human rights lawyer and an ex-student of Glasgow University. He is an experienced campaigner who does not accept that students are an unnecessary expense. He fights for the issues we care about: education, equality and peace.”

Nominating Patrick Harvie MSP, Robert Watt and Jennifer Conway said: “Patrick Harvie is a local candidate with a track record as an MSP representing people in Glasgow. We believe that his Green policies will appeal to students. Patrick represents both the community and students and will make a stand for environmental concerns and social justice on behalf of deprived areas in Glasgow.”

Nominating Charles Kennedy MP, Niall Rowantree and David Tait said: "We are delighted that the nomination of Charles Kennedy for the position of Rector has been accepted. Charles Kennedy is being supported by a wide ranging cross section of the student body who recognise that he is the candidate with the most experience to do the best job as an active, independent rector. If elected, Charles will be a strong voice for the students of Glasgow."

Nominating Hardeep Singh Kohli, Angus MacLeod and Mairi Kellock said: “Hardeep is being nominated as a working rector. He used to live in Hillhead, went to Glasgow University and was heavily involved in the student societies such as the dialetic society and the student media. We think it is time for a rector who can get a wide base of support, not just from one political party or viewpoint. He is an intelligent, witty man with a great affection for the university and is honoured to be nominated.”

The Rector is elected by the students of the University for a period of three years and not only represents the students but is also, ex-officio, the Chairman of the University Court, the body which administers the resources of the University.

The Rector is not active in University strategy or policy-making. The role is principally as spokesperson and representative for student issues. The Rector's participation in events is entirely voluntary and depends on their own availability and choice.

The new Rector  - who succeeds  Mr Mordechai Vanunu  - will  be officially installed on 10 April 2008.

Notes for editors

The Rector of the University of Glasgow is elected by the matriculated students of the University and the main role of the Rector is to represent the University’s students.

The Rector has a number of key duties representing students. He/She is expected to attend meetings of Court, the governing body of the University, to work closely with the SRC, and to bring student concerns to the attention of the University’s managers.

The Rector is the ‘ordinary president’ of Court in the words of the Universities (Scotland) Act 1858 and is entitled to chair Court meetings.
From the Reformation until the late 17th century rectors were ministers from within the Glasgow area. During the 18th and early 19th centuries local landowners or Scottish legal or political figures filled the office. Two renowned rectors prior to 1820 were Adam Smith, the author of the Wealth of Nations and Edmund Burke, the orator and political philosopher.

Glasgow’s tradition right up to 1974 was the political rector, the elected politicians including 11 Prime Ministers, from Sir Robert Peel to Stanley Baldwin via Disraeli and Gladstone. Other rectors during the 20th century have included the President of France, Raymond Poincaré, during the First World War; Compton Mackenzie, author and Scottish Nationalist and the Rev Dick Sheppard, pacifist, in the 1930s; Sir John Boyd Orr, nutritionist in 1945; Albert Luthuli, anti-apartheid campaigner and Nobel peace prize winner in 1962; The Rev George MacLeod, founder of the Iona Community in 1968; and Jimmy Reid, Communist shop steward in 1971.

Many candidates stood on a “working rector” ticket and from the 1930s many were successful, including Lord Reith, public servant, George Macleod, Michael Kelly, Lord Provost of Glasgow; and Johnny Ball, broadcaster.

To stand for rector nominees require ten student sponsors.

Further information:

Martin Shannon, Media Relations Officer
Tel: 0141 330 8593

SRC webpages:

First published: 30 January 2008

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