Ann Henderson was announced as the new Rector of the University of Edinburgh last night. Ann beat Marco Bauder to be elected to the post. Ann will replace the outgoing Steve Morrison.
The role of Rector was created by the Universities Scotland Act 1858, but has evolved and developed over time. It is the only role elected by both students and staff. The Rector presides over meetings of the University’s Court, where important decisions impacting the University are taken. The Rector may also chair meetings of the General Council in the absence of the Chancellor. The Rector is required to represent the interests of the University community at Court.
Despite an long list of previous Rectors, including William Churchill, Gordon Brown and W E Gladstone, Ann is only the second woman to fill the role.
With a background in trade unions, Ann was one of the first female train drivers in Scotland. She has over 40 years experience of campaigning and activism. She has pledged to tackle widespread mental health issues, the rapidly rising cost of rent and to protect and support EU students and staff. She also wants to ensure fair pay, fair pensions, and decent work for staff.
Image credit: Andrew Perry