Responsibilities of the Vice-Principal (Governance) include:
- secretary to University Court and General Council
- managerial responsibility for the Court and Senate office
- managerial responsibility for Academic Registry
- managerial responsibility for the legal department, human resources, and the Centre for Academic, Professional and Organisational Development (CAPOD)
- relations with the Scottish Government and the Scottish Funding Council, and development and management of the single outcome agreement
- compliance with the code of governance
- ethics; convener of the University Teaching and Research Ethics Committee (UTREC).
- convener of trade unions consultative committee
- liaison with the Students' Association and the Athletic Union
- oversight of complaints and appeals handling
- risk management.
The current Vice-Principal (Governance) is Alastair Merrill. He has held this role since 2015.
Alastair Merrill joined St Andrews in 2015 from the Scottish Government, where he had spent five years as the Chief Procurement Officer and Commercial Director, leading the transformation of public procurement. Originally trained as a historian at Pembroke College, Cambridge, Alastair joined the civil service fast stream in 1986, and served in a variety of posts in Ministry of Defence and the Foreign Office, including secondments to the private sector and the UN peacekeeping force in the former Yugoslavia. In 1996, he left the UK civil service to work as a private secretary to NATO’s Secretary General in Brussels, advising on NATO enlargement, relations with the former Soviet Union, and refugee issues during the Kosovo crisis. In 2001, he was recruited as a Senior Civil Servant and moved to Scotland where postings included running Educational Analytical Services, Change Management, Police Policy and as Corporate Services Director in the Scottish Prison Service.