The word "chancellor" originates from the Latin cancellarius, which means "doorkeeper."
Traditionally, a chancellor’s role is to serve as the ceremonial head of a university, which most notably includes presiding over convocations, and the conferring of degrees upon graduating students. The role of chancellor is to also serve as an ambassador. The chancellor of Kwantlen Polytechnic University holds a seat on the KPU Board of Governors, Senate and Foundation. The university's Alumni Association leads the process of calling for, and assessing, nominations for the position. On the recommendation of the KPUAA, a chancellor is appointed by the university's board after consultation with the senate.
Dr. George Melville currently serves as KPU chancellor. He began his three-year term on Oct. 1, 2014. He succeeds the university's first chancellor Dr. Arvinder Bubber, who held the role for two consecutive terms.