Role of the Pro-Chancellor
Over the centuries the role of the Pro-Chancellor has been to act on behalf of the Chancellor during periods of absences from the University. From 1645 to 1964 this prestigious officer was termed the Vice-Chancellor. In 1964 the office of Vice-Chancellor was abolished and replaced by a panel of Pro-Chancellors (up to a maximum of six) who take precedence in the University after the Chancellor and among themselves in order of election. Pro-Chancellors have all the powers and privileges of the Chancellor when acting in place of the Chancellor, such as when awarding degrees of the University of Dublin, but they also hold office in their own right.
Appointment to the office of Chancellor or Pro-Chancellor is considered to be the highest accolade the University can bestow. In practice the office is reserved for the most distinguished graduates and academic members of staff who have made exceptional contributions to the College over the course of their career, or for illustrious members of the external community notable for their special contribution to society.
The University currently has six Pro-Chancellors: