Committees and Other Duties

Click here to download a PDF of the Terms of Reference for the Office of the Rector.
The terms were last updated in April of 2016, and are meant to provide an overview of the role in the form of a living document that is updated regularly.

You may also read the terms below.

Office of the Rector – Terms of Reference
Created April 2016


This document is a living and breathing point of reference for Queen’s students who are interested in learning more about the role, for those considering participating in a Rector election, and for sitting/transitioning Rectors to have an understanding of how the role operates and has operated in the past. It is meant to be regularly updated as the role evolves over time, and must be revisited to ensure it reflects the issues currently facing Queen’s and its students. These terms are guidelines and are not meant to be prescriptive.


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

The 3rd officer of Queen’s University beneath the Chancellor and Principal, the Rector is elected by all Queen’s students and is unique to Queen’s within Canada and the world. The Rector serves as the representative of all Queen’s University undergraduate and graduate students to the institution in matters pertaining to education. The Office of the Rector is a resource to all Queen’s students and exists to facilitate and enhance student life in all its manifestations.



The Rector acts to support and mentor student representation and to enhance the broader learning environment. Serving on university governing bodies, including the Board of Trustees, and on numerous committees, the Rector voices student concerns and promotes educational excellence. The Rector is tasked with understanding the supports and resources available to students in need, and often serves as an agent of referral to these various resources. Similarly, the Rector exists to help students navigate complex structures and procedures at the University.

The Rector also acts as an advisor for students in grievance procedures, serving as a personal support throughout these proceedings and ensuring that each student is afforded due process. Additionally, the role involves many ceremonial functions, including convocations and the conferring of awards. The Rector also serves a confidential support for all Queen's students, regardless of what students might be struggling with. Furthermore, the Rector promotes scholarly dialogue amongst students – notably through public speaker forums on topical issues. The following roles and responsibilities are not exhaustive, and it is common for each Rector to have particular focuses, events, and special projects that are integrated into their duties.

Board of Trustees

The Rector is a full-voting, ex-officio member of the Board of Trustees. As with all Trustees, the Rector is tasked with advocating a strategic vision for Queen’s that is in the best interest of the institution.

The Rector is a member of the following sub-committees of the Board:
• Audit and Risk
• Capital Assets and Finance
• External Relations and Development
• Governance and Nominating

The Rector is required to submit a written report for each meeting of the Board (twice per semester, four [4] meetings per year), in addition to delivering a 3 minute speech to the Board during the open session on the Friday evening of each Board weekend.

University Senate

The Rector does not sit on the Senate and is not afforded speaking rights at Senate meetings, but is recognized as an official observer and may request to speak if they so choose. The Rector is a sitting member on the Student Senate Caucus.

Furthermore, the Rector sits on various Senate committees:
• Senate Committee on Non-Academic Misconduct (SONAM)
• Academic Procedures Committee - Subcommittee on Examinations
• Honorary Degrees Committee
• Academic Procedures Committee – Subcommittee on Academic Accommodations

University Committees

Outside of the Board and Senate, the Rector sits on various university committees as a student representative. Currently, the Rector serves on the following committees:
• Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Coordinator Hiring Committee
• Queen’s 175th Anniversary Executive Planning Team
• ReUnion Street Festival Planning and Oversight Committee (Co-Chair)
• Provost’s Advisory Committee on Mental Health
• Student Services Strategic Planning Committee
• Queen’s University Alumni Association (QUAA) Awards Gala Planning Team
• Tricolour Award Reception Planning Committee
• Positive Space Steering Committee (Human Rights Office)

Liaison Between Students and Administration

The Rector has regular meetings with the Principal and Provost each month in which they discuss various issues on campus, working with senior administration to find solutions. The Rector serves as a channel of communication between students and their administration, and vice-versa. If a student raises an issue with the Rector pertaining to their Queen’s experience, these meetings are often when they will be brought to the attention of the Principal and their team. The Rector can also help organize meetings between students and the administration. Additionally, the Rector regularly meets with the other members of the senior administration as issues relating to their various portfolios arise throughout the year.

AMS Assembly

The Rector is a non-voting, ex-officio member of AMS Assembly, and is responsible for attending bi-weekly assembly meetings, submitting a written report/giving an oral update for each meeting, and sitting on President’s Caucus (consisting of each faculty society president, the AMS President, the Chair of the AMS’s Board of Directors, the Student Senate Caucus Chair, and the Undergraduate Student Trustee) which meets bi-weekly to discuss pertinent issues and the upcoming Assembly agenda. The Rector exists 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.

SGPS Council

The Rector is a non-voting, ex-officio member of SGPS, and is responsible for attending monthly council meetings and submitting a written report/giving an oral update for each meeting. The Rector exists 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.


In concert with the Chancellor and Principal, the Rector presides over all convocation ceremonies at Queen’s. At each ceremony’s beginning, the Rector leads the Chancellor’s procession into the convocation hall. During the ceremony, seated to the left of the Chancellor on stage, the Rector is responsible for delivering brief remarks to the graduating class and to shake the hands of each new graduate as they cross the stage. Additionally, the Rector is required to pose in photographs with each Honorary Degree recipient, and to attend daily convocation luncheons with distinguished guests and convocation speakers. There are typically 21 ceremonies in the spring and 5 in the fall each year. The Rector is also responsible for working with the Registrar’s Office to make sure any Tricolour Awards are prepared and ready to be handed out at a recipient’s graduation ceremony.

Confidential Student Support

The Office of the Rector is a confidential space for all Queen’s students to voice their concerns and experiences. The Rector is not a professional mental health counseling service, but can serve as an effective first point of contact for students in distress. Furthermore, the Rector can serve as triage to ensure that students are redirected to the appropriate campus resources in a timely manner. Therefore, the Rector should have strong working relationships with the Human Rights Office, the Academic Affairs and Social Issues Commissions of the AMS, the SGPS Student Advisors, the Peer Support Centre, and Student Wellness Services. The Rector can serve as an effective conduit making sure that students are connected with the right person right away rather than being redirected around the university multiple times as they seek out support. At the Rector’s discretion, ongoing meetings may be set up with particular students who express a desire to regularly touch base with the Rector as a part of their support system at Queen’s. Where the Rector does commit to providing confidential personal support in some capacity to students, appropriate training is recommended, both for the safety of students receiving support and for the Rector (pursuant to the section below on recommended training/certifications).

Academic Grievances

The Office of the Rector plays an integral role in facilitating student academic grievance proceedings at Queen’s. The Rector serves as an Ombudsman in cases of alleged mistreatment within academic settings, advocating for fairness and ensuring that all students are afforded due process. The Rector, working with the SGPS’s Student Advisor Program, the AMS’s Academic Affairs Commissioner & Peer Support Centre, and the University Ombudsman, works to help students understand their rights during grievance procedures, the process of filing an appeal, and the academic policy in question. Moreover, the Rector serves as a personal support for those students throughout any appeal processes and can attend any meetings alongside these students in order to provide personal support and to ensure that the process is fair and just. Where appropriate, the Rector works with the Human Rights Office in cases of potential discrimination.

Agnes Benidickson Tricolour Award and Reception

The Rector serves as the Chair of the Tricolour Award Selection Committee and is responsible for administering the award, which includes but is not limited to the opening/publicizing of the nomination process, collecting nominations, coordinating interviews, and facilitating the decision-making process for the Selection Committee. 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. Such service may have been confined to a single field, or it may have taken the form of a significant contribution over a wide range of activities. The award is named after Dr. Agnes Benidickson who was Chancellor of Queens University from 1980 until 1996. Admission to the Tricolour Society is limited to students of the University. Although the number of students to be admitted to the Society each year shall be decided by the selection committee, the number shall be limited so as not to jeopardize the distinction of the Tricolour Society. Admission shall not be granted simply because a person holds or has held a certain position or office on campus. The selection process follows the procedures as outlined in the Award's Terms of Reference. The names of the Award's recipients are engraved on a plaque in the Students' Memorial Union portion of the John Deustch University Centre.

Following the conferring of awards, the Rector is responsible for the organization of the Agnes Benidickson Tricolour Award Reception, which currently runs in tandem with the QUAA Alumni Awards Gala. The Rector writes and reads the biographies of each recipient at the reception, ensures that funding for the event is secured, oversees all logistics/planning/marketing/communications for the event, and is the event owner, working with a planning team of Alumni Relations & Advancement staff.


The position of Rector is not a paid position. However, the Rector’s tuition is paid in full by the University as remuneration.


When investigating student grievance cases, of a non-academic or academic nature, the Rector may discuss the details of a student’s case with academic or university units, as long as expressed written consent is provided by the student in question.


The only circumstances under which the Rector will breach confidentiality when speaking with a student are as follows:
1. With the student’s consent/at the student’s request (i.e. a request to seek support on a student’s behalf);
2. If the Rector has reason to believe that a student’s safety is at risk;
3. If the Rector is legally obligated to provide documentation pertaining to any particular case (i.e. FIPPA)

In all other cases, conversations between the Rector and students will be kept confidential.


Currently finalizing a record-retention schedule with Queen`s Archives – to be updated.


The Office of the Rector has an annual budget of $3000.


The following training programs/certifications are pertinent and useful within the Rector’s role:
1. Positive Space
2. ASIST (Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training)
3. SafeTalk


In December 2003, the Rector's Badge was designed by Mr. Gordon MacPherson. The concept for the Badge was developed by Queen's alumnus the Honourable John R. Matheson, who oversaw the creation of the Canadian flag and served as long term member of the University's Board of Trustees, and Rector Ahmed Kayssi. The puma in the centre is the Rector's puma, a tradition started by Rector Michael Kealy and passed on to subsequent Rectors as a symbol of the office. The crown is the ancient Queen's crown. The scales signify the Rector's role as an ombudsperson for students. The belt and buckle signify the Scottish origin of the rectorship, while the maple leaf signifies the Canadian identity of the office. The red, gold, and blue in the Badge are the official colours of Queen's.

The Office of the Rector uses Open Sans Light and Adobe Garamond Pro fonts in official publications and communications.


1. 1913 The Reverend S.W. Dyde
2. 1916 James L. Robertson
3. 1920 Brigadier General A.E. Ross
4. 1925 William H. Coverdale
5. 1929 Oscar D. Skelton
6. 1935 The Right Honourable R.B. Bennett
7. 1937 The Honourable Norman McLeod Rogers
8. 1940 The Earl of Athlone
9. 1944 B.K. Sandwell
10. 1947 Leonard W. Brockington
11. 1968 The Honourable M. Grattan O'Leary
12. 1969 Richard Alan Broadbent (First student Rector elected by students)
13. 1972 Gary Michael Gannage
14. 1974 Bruce W. Trotter
15. 1976 Morris Chochla
16. 1978 Hugh Christie
17. 1980 Jeremy Freedman
18. 1982 James Harris
19. 1984 Richard Powers
20. 1986 Kelley McKinnon
21. 1988 Charis Kelso
22. 1990 Antoinette Mongillo
23. 1992 David Baar
24. 1994 Peter Gallant
25. 1996 Ian Michael
26. 1998 Michael Kealy
27. 2000 Daniel Sahl
28. 2002 Ahmed "KC" Kayssi
29. 2004 Grant R.A. Bishop
30. 2006 Johsa Marie G. Manzanilla
31. 2008 Leora Jackson
32. 2010 Nick Day
33. 2011 Nick Francis
34. 2014 Mike Young
35. 2016 Cam Yung