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History of the Proctor

Latin origins

In the Northern Hemisphere proctors have been around for many centuries. In fact, the name is derived from the Latin word procurator, meaning the Roman administrator of a province, or manager of an estate. The word basically means looking after something or someone on behalf of someone else.

The most famous procurator was probably Pontius Pilate, governor of the province of Judea at the time of Christ.

The universities of Europe have had proctors for over seven centuries (those at Oxford and Cambridge being the most famous) and the tradition was introduced into university life here at Otago some 50 years ago.


The Proctor at the University of Otago

As a large majority of our students are far from home it is therefore appropriate that the University of Otago has an officer whose main function is to act as guardian or protector of these young people and, if required, to deal with matters concerned with order and good behaviour.