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Rector election cancelled as 'there were no candidates for the position’

University says it is considering the right time to ‘restart’ election process

By: Anttoni Numminen

Photograph courtesy of author.

Elections for the role of University of Aberdeen (UoA) Rector have been postponed due to a total absence of candidates.

The position of University Rector, established in Scottish law in the 1880s, has generally been highly sought after and several notable people have held the position at UoA, including Winston Churchill and Herbert Henry Asquith.

However, following an email sent by the Gaudie to the elections department (16 February), it was revealed that “there were no candidates for the position received."

That same day, the Student’s Association (AUSA) was set to host a hustings with candidates.

A post on AUSA’s Facebook page, said: “Candidate Q&A will take place on Microsoft Teams on 16th February at 4 pm. Submit your questions to the candidates by sending them to”

Caption: poster for Rector election hustings.

Courtesy of AUSA

The University of Aberdeen later confirmed to The Gaudie that there were no nominations for the role of Rector, which it said unfortunately reflected the disruption and distraction endured by students during the pandemic, combined with a ‘lack of on-campus activity’.

“We are currently working with AUSA to consider the right time to restart the election process for the next Rector”, a University spokesperson continued.

AUSA’s Vice-President for Welfare, Louise Henrard, said the Association was ‘very disappointed’ by the lack of enthusiasm for the election, but called on the University to use this as an opportunity to improve the way elections are run.

Henrard added: “AUSA is in contact with the University to discuss the new timeline and to ensure that students are represented. In the meantime, the University now has a perfect opportunity to review the whole election system and find ways to improve it.”

The last Rector election was marred by allegations of dirty tricks and bigotry, both of which received national coverage at the time.

After a rerun, Maggie Chapman was elected Rector, with her tenure ending in April this year.

Chapman will top the Scottish Green Party’s North East regional list in this May’s Holyrood elections.

Maggie Chapman is congratulated on her election success (2018) by Returning Officer Phil Hannaford. Courtesy of UoA


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