Difference Between Chancellor And President

When it comes to the governing structure of a university or college, the terms Chancellor and President often get used interchangeably. However, there is a distinct difference between these two positions, and understanding those differences is important for students, faculty members, and administrators. Let’s explore what Chancellor and President mean in higher education and how they differ from each other.

What is a Chancellor?

Chancellor is a high-ranking official at a university or college who heads the administrative and academic affairs of the institution. In simpler terms, the Chancellor is the person who manages everything that happens at the university, including finances, academic programs, faculty recruitment, student affairs, and more.

In some cases, the Chancellor is responsible for overseeing multiple campuses of a university or college system. This is particularly true for public universities, where the state government often appoints a Chancellor to ensure standardized operations across all campuses.

What is a President?

The President is also a high-ranking official at a university who often works alongside the Chancellor. Though their duties overlap, there are significant differences between these two positions. Specifically, the President focuses mainly on external relations and fundraising, while the Chancellor handles internal University affairs.

The President’s primary responsibility is to raise the profile of the University by engaging in public relations with outside entities like donors, politicians, and business leaders. The President is responsible for securing funds and donations for the institution, as well as advocating for its continued success.

What are the key differences between Chancellor and President?

The primary difference between a Chancellor and President is their area of focus. The Chancellor is responsible for everything that happens internally at the university, while the President is responsible for external affairs. While the two positions have their unique responsibilities, they often work closely together to ensure the smooth functioning of the institution.

Another significant difference between these two positions is the way they are appointed. Typically, a Chancellor is appointed by a board of trustees or a search committee, while the President is often appointed by the same group or elected by the university’s faculty members.

The salary difference between a Chancellor and President is also significant. The salaries of both positions can vary widely depending on the institution’s size and location. However, as a general rule, Chancellors are paid more than Presidents.

Finally, the role of a Chancellor is a permanent one, while the President may have a term limit in some institutions. In many cases, the Chancellor is a more stable presence at the university than the President, who may change every few years.


In summary, the Chancellor and President are two crucial positions in a university or college. They work together to ensure the smooth running of the institution, but their focus areas and responsibilities are different. Understanding the differences between these roles is essential for students, faculty members, and administrators, and can help create a more efficient and productive learning environment.

If you are considering a career in higher education, it is essential to understand the nuances of these positions and how they can impact your professional growth. With a clear understanding of the role of a Chancellor and President, you can make informed decisions and contribute positively to the success of your institution.