May 4, 2018

Sreekanth B

What Is The Difference Between Chancellor and Vice Chancellor

Chancellor and vice chancellor are commonly heard words. Most people know about them though not many are aware of the differences between the two as well as their roles and responsibilities. This is perhaps because these are posts in higher education that do not require people holding these posts to come in public contact in a frequent manner. However, to let readers be more aware of the two posts, this article attempts to highlight the functions and responsibilities of vice chancellor and a chancellor.

In most of the commonwealth countries, because of centuries old traditions established in Britain, a Chancellor is the titular or ceremonial head of all Universities. In sharp contrast is the tradition in US, where Chancellor is the executive head of a university. To handle the day to day operations of a University, there is a Vice Chancellor in each University. So, though the post of the chancellor is considered to be above of a vice Chancellor, it is the VC who is the actual chief executive of a University in most of the commonwealth countries.



In most of Europe, it is Rector that is a post equivalent to that of a Vice Chancellor in England and other commonwealth countries. Here, the titular head is a great chancellor.

Australia is an exception in the sense that the Chancellor of a university is both ceremonial as well as executive head. He has a deputy though in the name of a pro chancellor or deputy chancellor. Both these posts are filled by influential people from either the business community or the judiciary.

The post of Vice Chancellor is called differently in different countries and the titles used are President, Rector, and even Principal (as in Canada). So we have Rectors as the most powerful executives in Universities in Russia though even there is a ceremonial or titular head by the name of President.

In US, while Universities have Presidents holding a post equivalent to that of Vice Chancellor in Commonwealth, there is a person called chancellor who is a state wide chief of all universities in the state. This title of President is not to be confused with the post of University President in many countries who is the highest ranking officer in the university. These Universities do not prefer the Chancellor or Vice Chancellor system of officials.


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