Voting for the new Lord Rector of the University of St Andrews opened at 9am this morning (Thursday 12 October).
“Mark Brunner is father to a St Andrews graduate, travels frequently to the university, and has lectured at the School of IR and the Lafayette Club. He is President of PrimerAI, and leader in career development for university graduates and aims to transform the St Andrews internship and career office services by raising the University’s profile with institutions who will benefit from hiring graduates from the #1 UK university.
In tandem with his focus on elevating the career office to achieve its own #1 ranking for student services, as Rector Mark would accelerate sustainability initiatives at St Andrews. He led the National Commission on Energy Efficiency and was inducted into the “Energy Efficiency Hall of Fame” in recognition of his sustainability efforts, including several initiatives that were voted into law. Mark believes St Andrews can pursue a more ambitious approach to energy efficiency and leverage technology to achieve their 2035 energy and water efficiency targets.
With respect to DE&I, Mark would work closely with the Universities Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) team and maintain transparent dialogue with students on key priorities while welcoming new ideas.”
“Jonathan Edwards is one of Britain’s most successful athletes. He won the Olympic gold medal in Sydney 2000 and set the world record for the men’s triple jump- a record that still stands 28 years on. After his retirement from professional athletics, Jonathan went on to be the athlete representative on the Organising Committee Board for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, where he was instrumental in establishing structural change to provide athletes with a stronger voice.
In addition to this, he was the Deputy chair of the Nations and Regions group that was established to grow the impact of the games to a wider and more inclusive audience. He has a wealth of experience representing the concerns of others and representing the issues that matter most to them at the very highest level. In his broadcasting career, Jonathan was part of Channel 4’s groundbreaking coverage of the Paralympic Games and has recently been appointed as a charity trustee of the Invictus games foundation- a charity dedicated to supporting wounded, injured and sick veterans.
Jonathan’s first introduction to the St Andrews student community came in 2011, when his eldest son began studying here. He would be honoured to be elected our Rector and have the opportunity to bring both his professional experience and personal dedication to this historic role and help give students the best possible time here.”
“As the former Rector’s Assessor, a role I held for the past two and a half years, I am intimately familiar with the role of Rector and its relationship with both the students and the upper echelons of University Staff. This experience, combined with my time as the Senior Student of St Salvator’s Hall and my term as Class representative for two departments, qualifies me to be the Rector of the University of St Andrews.
I’m committed to enhancing the relationship between the student body and the university, particularly senior leadership. In my tenure as Rector’s Assessor, I worked to boost the Rector’s Fund, ensuring more students can afford invaluable work experience. I’ve also highlighted the importance of standing up for LGBTQIA+ members, so their experiences and expertise drive discussions. Moreover, I plan to tailor university resources and support mechanisms to meet the needs of Saints who struggle with disabilities, mental health concerns, or other external factors, such as being young carers. The emphasis on ‘International Student Integration’ stays prominent, with a mentorship program that eases the transition for international students and fosters a true global community. On accommodation and affordability, I’m pushing for more transparency, addressing rising living costs and striving for a fairer deal for all students. My focus lies in promising every Saint, irrespective of background, feels at home here. Together, we can build a St Andrews that’s not just a place of learning but a community that stands united in its diversity and strength.”
Voting closes tomorrow at 5pm, with the new Rector taking up their role on the first working day in November.
Image: Jack Dalgleish