Looking for the first Chancellor

Mount Royal starts search for community leader

The process to find a suitable candidate to serve as Mount Royal’s first Chancellor has begun with calls for nominations going out into the community. But what exactly is a Chancellor?

A Chancellor is the ceremonial head of a university — a volunteer who actively participates in events on and off campus and promotes the academic institution. Typically the person is well connected in the community, has a stellar resume and cares deeply about how higher education can contribute to society and the economy.

With this role vacant over the past year, President and Vice-Chancellor Tim Rahilly, PhD, has assumed the essential duties of the Chancellor as outlined in the Post-Secondary Learning Act. He says, “Having a Chancellor will be a real asset for Mount Royal. While it’s clear to me we already have strong partnerships off campus, this person will be able to broaden our network, deepen our connections and act as a sage advisor. It’s a win-win for Mount Royal and the community.”

This is the first Chancellor for Mount Royal and came about as a result of revisions to Part 1 of the Post-secondary Learning Act (PSLA). The changes to the Act mean MRU’s governance structure becomes more like other Alberta universities. Along with being able to appoint a Chancellor Mount Royal is now granting honorary doctorates. As a matter of fact, one of the most visible roles for the Chancellor is presiding over Convocation and being the person to officially grant degrees to graduating students.

A Chancellor Search Committee with representatives from the Board of Governors, General Faculties Council, Alumni Association and Students’ Association of Mount Royal has begun work to seek the best individual for the role.

A member of the Committee, University Secretary Jane O’Connor says, “We’ve set ourselves an aggressive timeline with the hope that we might be able to get the right person in place in time for an installation at Spring Convocation at the start of June.”

The fine print of the Chancellor’s role is that there is no compensation except for travel expenses. The term is for four years. Along with being Mount Royal’s advocate in the community the Chancellor serves as an advisor and support to the President and an ex-officio member of the Board of Governors. A website with more information on the role, nomination process and timeline can be found here.

Jan. 20, 2020

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