Catherine Stihler, the labour MEP, was announced this morning as the new Rector of the University.
Ms Stihler was the only candidate to be successfully nominated for the elections which were planned to take place over the course of next week.
No election took place, giving the student body no opportunity to vote for Re-Open Nominations (RON) if they wished. This is in line with the University’s rules for Rectorial elections, clause 19 of which state: “In the case of one candidate being validly nominated, no election shall take place and this candidate will be automatically appointed.”
Ms Stihler will be the 52nd rector of the University and replaces the outgoing Rector, Alistair Moffat. She is only the second female Rector in St Andrews’ history. The last, Katharine Whitehorn, also ran unopposed in 1982.
A Member of the European Parliament since 1999, and part of the labour party, Ms Stihler is currently the only female MEP representing Scotland. She attended the University of St Andrews as an undergraduate studying IR and geography. Upon graduation, she served as President of the Students’ Association.
There will be an official ‘meet and greet’ with Ms Stihler on Tuesday 4 November at 7.30 pm in Parliament Hall.
Upon appointment to the role of Rector, Ms Stihler said: “As Rector, I want to make St Andrews accessible to everyone by lobbying for an increase in accommodation and alleviating the HMO ban.
“I will organise a series of inspirational talks and utilise our alumni network to give our graduates the career opportunities they deserve.
“I will fight to protect St Andrews’ traditions, working alongside the Community Council and University to ensure the survival of Raisin Weekend.
“St Andrews provides an experience like no other. It will be an honour to serve again.”
Annie Newman, the student who ran Ms Stihler’s campaign, said: “I cannot wait to see St Andrews thrive with Catherine as Rector over the next three years. She will be an incredible support system for students, an inspiring leader, and an amazing asset to our University. I’m very proud to call her Rector.”
Pat Mathewson, President of the Students’ Associaiton, said: “Far more than ceremonial, this ancient office resides at the heart of the student experience. Catherine stands poised to continue the strong tradition of a working rector here in St Andrews. She is not only incredibly accomplished, but she is one of our own.”