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A chancellor can be defined as the leader of a college or university, who is either the executive or the ceremonial head of the university. They can also be the nominal head of the university campus within a university system. In most Commonwealth and former Commonwealth nations, the position is generally a ceremonial head of the university who does not directly take part in the daily activities of the university.

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The main acting power-holding person in such institutions, or rather the chief executive of a university is the vice-chancellor, who might at times also carry the additional title of president. The chancellor might also serve as the chairperson of a governing body. However, if they are not able to execute their power over there due to some issues, this duty can be transferred to a chairperson who is known as the pro-chancellor of the university.

In several countries, the educational and administrative head of the university is known as the president, rector, or principal. In India, the de facto Chancellor of all public universities is the governor of the concerned state. The acting administrative head of such a government university will be the vice-chancellor roles. When it comes to private non-profit universities, the head of the foundation who has established the university is generally the chancellor of the university and is also the head of the university.

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However, in the case of private universities, unlike the governer who heads the conventional state-run university, the private university is headed by a president or chairperson of a private organization and has other posts like vice-chancellors, deans of faculties, registrars, and controllers of examinations.

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