University Rector, Queen's University

Position Summary and Purpose:

"Princeps Servusque Es" (Be a leader and a servant) is the motto of the Office of the Rector, and truly embodies what the Rector strives to do for Queen's students.

The Rector is a student, elected by all Queen’s students (undergraduate and graduate), to a three-year term as one of the three highest officers of the university, along with Queen’s Chancellor and Principal.  The Rector sits on the university’s Board of Trustees and Senate and represents students on university committees, such as  the Principal Selection Committee and Senate Honorary Degrees Committee.  The Rector has ceremonial responsibilities, the most high profile being to join the Chancellor and the Principal on the dais at Convocation.

Serving as the Rector can be a very worthwhile experience for a university student.  The Rector is a leader, a student representative, and a role model for others within the Queen’s community.  While the role can be extremely rewarding, it places a high level of responsibility upon its incumbent to represent oneself, the Office of the Rector, and the University in an appropriate manner and to strike a balance between academic pursuits, personal wellbeing, and passion for the role.

Primary Duties And Responsibilities:

  • Serves as a student representative on university governing bodies, including the Board of Trustees (and associated committees of the Board) and Senate, and on various other university-wide committees and task forces.
  • Participates in many ceremonial functions, including Convocation and the conferring of awards.  In concert with the Chancellor and Principal, the Rector presides over all convocation ceremonies at Queen’s.  The Rector leads the Chancellor’s procession, delivers brief remarks to the graduating class, and shakes the hands of each new graduate as they cross the stage. Additionally, the Rector participates in photographs with each Honorary Degree recipient and attends convocation luncheons with distinguished guests and convocation speakers.  There are typically more than 25 ceremonies each year occurring in the spring and fall.
  • Agnes Benidickson Tricolour Award and Reception: The Agnes Benidickson Tricolour Award and induction in the Tricolour Society is the highest tribute that can be paid to a student for valuable and distinguished service to the University in non-athletic, extra-curricular activities.  The Rector serves as the Chair of the Tricolour Award Selection Committee and is responsible for overseeing all processes related to it, including but is not limited to publicizing the nomination process, collecting nominations, coordinating interviews, and facilitating the decision-making process for the Selection Committee.  Following the selection of award recipients, the Rector is responsible for the organization of the Agnes Benidickson Tricolour Award Reception in partnership with the Office of Advancement, and presents each Award to its recipient at their Convocation ceremony.
  • The Rector serves as a liaison between students and the university's administration, and vice-versa. As a liaison, the Rector has regular meetings with the Principal, Provost, and with senior administration to discuss a variety of issues relating to their various portfolios, that impact students.
  • AMS Assembly: The Rector is a non-voting, ex-officio member of the AMS Assembly  and is responsible for attending monthly  meetings, submitting a written report, and giving an oral update at each meeting. The Rector sits on Assembly to provide context and information for issues being discussed, and, when appropriate, to help facilitate and guide discussion with questions for Assembly members to consider, and to use the Assembly to gain insight into undergraduate student life at Queen’s.
  • President’s Caucus: The Rector attends the President’s Caucus to discuss pertinent issues and the upcoming Assembly agenda.
  • SGPS Council: The Rector is a non-voting, ex-officio member of SGPS Council, and is responsible for submitting a written report and giving a oral update at the monthly SGPS Council meetings. The Rector sits on Council to provide context and information for issues being discussed, and when appropriate, to help facilitate and guide discussion with questions for Council members to consider, and to use the Council to gain insight into graduate/professional student life at Queen’s.
  • Confidential Student Support: The Office of the Rector is a confidential space in which all Queen’s students to share their concerns and experiences. The Rector may triage student issues or concerns to the appropriate campus resources.
  • Academic Grievances: The Office of the Rector plays an integral role in facilitating student academic grievance proceedings at Queen’s. Working with the SGPS Student Advisor Program, the AMS Academic Affairs Commissioner and Peer Support Centre, and the University Ombudsperson, the Rector helps students understand their rights during grievance procedures, the process of filing an appeal, and the academic policy in question.
  • Events: The Rector often hosts events to inform or receive input from students. The Rector is invited to a wide variety of events as a student representative, occasionally with a speaking role.
  • Administration: With the assistance of the Governance Engagement Officer in Queen’s University Secretariat, the Rector is responsible for administering, planning, and coordinating the operation of the Office of the Rector to:
    • Research, identify, and set strategic goals for the term in Office.
    • Prepare and monitor budgets and oversee resource allocation; setting objectives in order to ensure the financial health of the office. 
    • The Rector may chose to hire and supervise a Rector Assistant .  The Rector will coordinate workflow, delegate tasks, determine priorities as necessary, and maintain payroll in accordance with HR policies and procedures.
    • Manage the Rector Bursary, securing donations and donor stewardship, receiving student applications, and liaising with Student Awards to award the bursary.
    • Manage the Rector’s website and social media forums.
    • Maintain and update operations and meeting records, and ensure a smooth transition with the incoming Rector through a formal onboarding process.
    • Liaise with Past Rectors, as appropriate.
  • Undertake other duties or special projects in support of the Office of the Rector’s mission and strategic goals.


  • Proven leadership experience and ability to work under pressure to tight deadlines, prioritizing and completing tasks.
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills (both verbal and written) as the position interacts with many different individuals in a variety of contexts.
  • Must be objective, fair, impartial, and flexible without compromising standards and established policies.
  • Strong analytical and interpretive skills with the ability to synthesize information from a wide variety of sources.
  • Good working knowledge of social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn), along with Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, Sharepoint), and Webpublish.  Ability to adapt to and implement new technologies.
  • Knowledge of university structure, policy, and administrative systems.


  • The Rector is elected by students (undergraduate and graduate) for up to a three-year term (practice since 1972 has been a two-year term), in accordance with the By-laws of the University Council (By-Law F: Election of the Rector).
  • Stipend ($7,000/year, including 4% vacation pay) for variable hours per week
  • Tuition Assistance and Meal Plan (combined max of $13,325/year)

Staff Resource: 

Terri Flindall, Governance Engagement and Special Projects Officer, Office of the University Secretariat and Legal Counsel