The head of Wizarding universities, and official leader of all wizards on the Disc. Long ago, this would have meant that he has the most powerful wizard, but nowadays senior wizards tend to refrain from performing actual magic. They prefer administration and big dinners. The Archchancellors' are rather prone to death caused by upwardly mobile wizards, and as such, many wizards have never made it past the inaugural dinner without being stabbed, poisoned or shot. The current incumbent for the post at Unseen University is Mustrum Ridcully. Since Ridcully took up position as Archchancellor, assassination attempts have fallen, as no one is capable enough to get rid of him.
Election of the Archchancellor
The Archchancellor is elected on the Eve of Small Gods. (Not so much elected, as the wizards have never gotten the hang of voting). It is known that Archchancellors are selected by the gods (which wizards don't believe in). The double doors to the Great Hall are locked and triple barred, and the hopeful incumbent must request entry three times before he is allowed in, thus proving that he was appointed with the consent of wizardry in general.
The First Archchancellor
The first Archchancellor, Alberto Malich is obviously held in high esteem. His statue in one of the hallways says "We Shall Not See His Like Again". It seems that the University was founded (which seems to not include The Tower of Art, which was a relic from an earlier period) by the first Archchancellor during the time they had Kings (which suggests a time earlier than the last King, Lorenzo the Kind). He briefly returned to the University in Mort.
Former Archchancellors of Unseen University
- Alberto Malich; founder
- Bowell – noted for the interesting ceiling "Archchancellor Bowell's Remembrance"
- Bewdley - Disliked the city, as seen by his statue
- Sloman – discovered the Special Theory of Slood
- Greyhald Spold - ? Only referenced briefly in Lords and Ladies during a conversation between Ridcully and Granny Weatherwax, apparently he was Archchancellor during Ridcully's student days. Must have stepped down voluntarily from the job (unless Ridcully's memory is mistaken about his having held the position at all), since he lived long enough to die during Galder Weatherwax's tenure.
- Galder Weatherwax – Archchancellor in The Light Fantastic
- Cutangle – Archchancellor in Equal Rites
- Virrid Wayzygoose – who died before his inaugural dinner, in Sourcery
- Ezrolith Churn – Archchancellor in Eric
Archchancellors from other wizarding institutions
- Bill Rincewind – Archchancellor of Bugarup University on EcksEcksEcksEcks, seen in The Last Continent
- Henry – Archchancellor of Brazeneck College in Pseudopolis, as of Unseen Academicals
NB: Although Krull also has a magical university it is not known if the ruler is an Archchancellor or not. The same is true of various other universities or colleges mainly described in various titles and degrees.