Regulations for the conduct of the election of Rector

Updated on 28 September 2020

These regulations ensure that the election of Rector is done in a fair and democratic manner

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These Regulations are made in terms of Ordinance 62

  1. No member of the academic staff, officer or employee of the University and no matriculated student of any university shall be eligible for nomination as Rector.

Appointing a returning officer

  1. The Senatus shall appoint a returning officer from among the academic staff of the University to preside at the election and ensure its smooth running. The Senate may appoint up to two deputy returning officers to assist the returning officer. In addition, the University Secretary shall appoint a further deputy returning officer who will support the returning officer and any deputy returning officers appointed by the Senate in fulfilling the administration and organisation of the election.

  2.  Collaborating as necessary with the Students’ Association, the responsibilities of the returning officer shall be as follows:

    1. to ensure that the election is conducted in accordance with these regulations in a fair and democratic manner
    2. to delegate tasks to deputy returning officers as necessary
    3. in so doing and if the returning officer feels it necessary or desirable, to establish a committee with such advisers as the returning officer deems appropriate to assist in ensuring the proper conduct of the election
    4. to devise and agree campaigning rules in accordance with these regulations
    5. to reach a determination in the case of allegations of breach of these regulations and to impose an appropriate penalty, including disqualification
    6. to declare nominations valid
    7. to verify and declare the result of the election
  3. No person appointed in terms of this regulation may nominate or canvass for a candidate in the election. For the avoidance of doubt, this includes any advisers appointed to a committee to assist the returning officers as set out above

  4. When the date of the election has been determined under the terms of Ordinance 62, the returning officer shall arrange for the publication of: a notice setting out the key dates of the election; the process for making nominations; and instructions for obtaining a copy of these regulations as well as for obtaining nomination and acceptance of nomination forms.


  1. Each nomination must be accompanied by the names and matriculation numbers of 50 students currently matriculated at the University – including the Proposer and Seconder – in accordance with instructions from the administrative returning officer.

  2. No elector may subscribe to more than one nomination.

  3. Each completed nomination should be accompanied by an acceptance of nomination form signed by the nominee.

  4. Nomination forms, together with the associated acceptance of nomination forms shall be lodged with the returning officer by 5pm on the prescribed day.

  5. Any valid nominations lodged before the prescribed day shall be held by the returning officer and shall not be made public until nominations have closed.

  6. Each nomination form shall be scrutinised by the returning officer to establish its validity.

  7. If the returning officer finds that any student has subscribed to more than one nomination or is an unqualified elector by reason of not being a matriculated student in the University, he/she shall strike out the entry concerned and give the Proposer an opportunity to obtain a valid substitution by no later than 12 noon on the second day following the close of nominations.

  8. The returning officer shall publish a notice listing the names of the candidates who have been duly nominated along with their respective Proposers and Seconders not later than 5pm on the second day following the close of nominations


  1. A hustings of candidates for election shall be conducted in accordance with the bye laws of the Students’ Association provided that all hustings shall be chaired by the returning officer or a deputy returning officer.

  2. If candidates are required to travel to Dundee to participate in a hustings, they may claim reasonable expenses and travel costs up to a limit of £500 per candidate. These expenses will be paid jointly by the University and the Students’ Association.

Campaign materials

  1. The University and the Students’ Association will jointly provide a budget for the printing and distribution of campaign materials in accordance with the campaign rules agreed by the returning officer.

  2. The returning officer will approve all publicity and campaigning materials.

Polling and counting of votes

  1. Polling for the election shall take place by electronic means over a minimum of a two day period using (if required) the single transferable vote system in general use for University elections.

  1. The returning officer shall determine where the counting of votes shall take place.

  2. The following persons may be present at the counting of votes:  DUSA Executive members, the Proposers and Seconders and the candidates.

Result of the election

  1.  When the counting of votes has been completed and has been checked to the satisfaction of the returning officer, the result of the poll shall be declared and a notice thereof will be published.

  2. In the event of an equality of votes between two or more candidates, the election shall be determined by the drawing of names from a sealed bag.

  3. The decision of the returning officer in relation to the outcome of the election shall be final.

Misconduct and complaints

  1. Any person who contravenes any provision of these regulations may be disqualified from voting or being elected as the case may be.

  2. Any complaint about the conduct of the election, any allegation of infringement of these regulations or any allegation of misconduct by a candidate or one of their agents or supporters should be brought as soon as possible to the attention of the returning officer, who will investigate the matter.

  3. Having investigated the matter, the returning officer will determine whether the complaint or allegation should be upheld. If the complaint or allegation is upheld, the returning officer may impose an appropriate sanction on the offending party. The sanctions could include, but are not limited to, the instigation of disciplinary proceedings against students under Ordinance 40, the instigation of disciplinary proceedings against members of staff under the staff disciplinary procedure, or the removal of a candidate from the poll. The returning officer may also determine that the election should be suspended pending further investigation, abandoned or rescheduled.

  4. Any damage to University property during the course of an election will be treated as a serious disciplinary offence.

  5. Demonstrations in favour of candidates may be held only in open spaces outwith University buildings and supporters may not interfere with the normal business of the University.

  6. Failure to comply with this direction will, likewise, be treated as a serious disciplinary offence.

  7. In the event that a candidate contests the results of the election, a case must be submitted within 10 working days of the declaration of the results. Where a case is submitted within the timeframe, the returning officer will arrange for an informal assessment of the case to determine whether there are grounds for an investigation. If as a result the returning officer determines that there are grounds, he or she will engage an independent solicitor or other professional person from outside the University to carry out a full investigation and report to the returning officer. On the basis of the report, the returning officer may decide to take no further action or may decide to declare the results of the election null and void and order a new election.

Inauguration ceremony

  1. The University, in partnership with the Students’ Association, will organise an inauguration ceremony for the Rector as soon as practicable after the term of office of the Rector has begun.

Approved by the Court on 30 August 2018.


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