A Vice-Chancellor (commonly called the VC) of a university in the United Kingdom, other Commonwealth countries, and some universities in Hong Kong, is the de facto head of the university. Strictly speaking, he or she is only the deputy to the Chancellor of the university, but the Chancellor is usually a prominent public figure who acts as a ceremonial figurehead only (e.g. the Chancellor of Cambridge University is HRH The Duke of Edinburgh), while the Vice-Chancellor acts as the day-to-day chief executive. An assistant to a Vice-Chancellor is called a Deputy Vice-Chancellor or a Pro-Vice-Chancellor - these are sometimes teaching academics who take on additional responsibilities. Some universities (e.g. Macquarie University) also have a full-time Deputy Vice-Chancellor. In some universities, there are several Deputy Vice-Chancellors subordinate to the Vice-Chancellor, with Pro-Vice-Chancellor being a position at executive level ranking below Deputy Vice-Chancellor.

Canadian university Vice-Chancellors almost always carry the title of "President (or equivalent) and Vice-Chancellor": likewise, in Scotland, they hold the position of "Principal and Vice-Chancellor".

In the United States, a Vice-Chancellor is an assistant to a Chancellor, who is generally the (actual, not merely ceremonial) head of one campus of a large university which has several campuses. The head of the entire university is the University President (the equivalent of a Commonwealth Vice-Chancellor), the Chancellor is in charge of one campus, and a Vice-Chancellor is one of the chief assistants. Note that some systems, like the California State University, invert this ranking so that a Chancellor is the head of the entire university.

See also

British legal system

The Lord Chancellor's deputy in the Chancery Division of the High Court of Justice is also known as the Vice-Chancellor. As the Lord Chancellor never these days sits as a judge, the Vice-Chancellor is the de facto head of the Division.

German and Austrian politics

In German and Austrian politics, the Vice-Chancellor (Vizekanzler) is the deputy to the Federal Chancellor (the equivalent of a Prime Minister). Especially in a coalition government, this is the most important job after the Chancellor.

de:Vizekanzler nl:Rector Magnificus


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