Lord Grenville as Chancellor of the University of Oxford; painting by William Owen
The Chancellor of the University of Oxford, Lord Patten, in procession at Encaenia, 2009
William Smyth, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Oxford; painting by Gilbert Jackson

At an ancient university the court is chaired by the rector, who ranks third after the chancellor and vice-chancellor, is elected by all the matriculated students of each university.

- University court

In Scotland, the principal is appointed by the university court or governing body of the university and will be chairman or president of the body of academics.

- Chancellor (education)
Lord Grenville as Chancellor of the University of Oxford; painting by William Owen

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Inauguration of Rector Lubomír Dvořák (Palacký University)

Rector (academia)

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Senior official in an educational institution, and can refer to an official in either a university or a secondary school.

Senior official in an educational institution, and can refer to an official in either a university or a secondary school.

Inauguration of Rector Lubomír Dvořák (Palacký University)
Then Rector of the Bologna University, Ivano Dionigi, with then Prime Minister of Italy Matteo Renzi, in 2015.
Enrique Graue 34th Rector of the UNAM during his inaugural speech.
Colonnade at the reconstructed Yushima Seidō in Tokyo. The hereditary rectors of this Edo period institution were selected from the Hayashi clan.
Herminio Dagohoy, the 96th Rector Magnificus of the Pontifical and Royal University of Santo Tomas, Manila

Outside the English-speaking world the rector is often the most senior official in a university, whilst in the United States the most senior official is often referred to as president and in the United Kingdom and Commonwealth of Nations the most senior official is the chancellor, whose office is primarily ceremonial and titular.

In the ancient universities of Scotland the office is sometimes referred to as Lord Rector, is the third most senior official, and is usually responsible for chairing the University Court.

A meeting of the Academic Senate at Georgia Southern University.

Academic senate

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Governing body in some universities and colleges, and is typically the supreme academic authority for the institution.

Governing body in some universities and colleges, and is typically the supreme academic authority for the institution.

A meeting of the Academic Senate at Georgia Southern University.
The Faculty Senate at Southeastern Louisiana University hears from University President John L. Crain about the Fiscal Year 2016 budget.
James D. Kirylo (left), president of Southeastern Louisiana University's Faculty Senate, confers with Kevin L. Cope, president of the Louisiana State University Faculty Senate and president of the Association of Louisiana Faculty Senates, at a program in Hammond during 2015 concerning the budget for public higher education in Louisiana.

At the University of Glasgow, the Clerk of Senate (whose office is equivalent to that of a vice-principal) and Secretary of Court are also ex officio members of the Senate.

The officers of the academic senate may include the president of the university and the provost of the university.

St Salvator's Chapel, St Andrews

Ancient universities of Scotland

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The ancient universities of Scotland (Oilthighean ann an Alba) are medieval and renaissance universities which continue to exist in the present day.

The ancient universities of Scotland (Oilthighean ann an Alba) are medieval and renaissance universities which continue to exist in the present day.

St Salvator's Chapel, St Andrews
The Main Building of the University of Glasgow, from Kelvingrove Park
King's College, Aberdeen
The University of Edinburgh's Robert Adam-designed Old College, home of its Law School
Marischal College, a former ancient university now part of the University of Aberdeen.

As a result of these Acts, each of these universities is governed by a tripartite system of General Council, University Court, and Academic Senate.

The Chancellor is a titular non-resident head to each university and is elected for life by the respective General Council, although in actuality a good number of Chancellors resign before the end of their "term of office".