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A rector, in the educational world, is a title bestowed to the highest academic official of a college (in the Lyran sense, i.e. an undergraduate-only higher learning establishment) or a university, leading the day-to-day operations of such schools. Often a rector was a professor with years of teaching and administrative experience.
Several universities had different titles for a position with similar functions: Oxford University had a vice-chancellor at its administrative head, Rutgers University was headed by a president, and University of California, Berkeley was headed by a chancellor.