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 and Senate. 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.
Kwuntiltunaat Kim Baird currently serves as KPU chancellor. Her term began on October 19, 2020. She succeeds Dr. George Melville, KPU’s second chancellor who held the role for two consecutive terms.