Words for the titles and ranks of people are lowercased when they are used in a general sense or refer to the position held rather than the person. They are capitalised when they are used directly before a name, as a form of address or as a substitute for the name of the holder of the title. When titles are used in apposition to a name, they do not form part of the name and are, therefore, lowercased. Likewise, titles used to refer to a position, not a particular person, are also lowercased. The general guideline is that if the title or rank is a reference to a specific person and the person’s name could be used instead without affecting factual or grammatical accuracy, then a capital letter should be used.

Small_OK In 2011, Rector Ferré was re-elected for a second four-year term of office.
Small_OK Only last week, Rector, you stated that there would be no further cuts in the departmental budget.
Small_OK Last week the Rector gave a speech to the Barcelona Chamber of Commerce.
Small_OK The principal academic and administrative officer of a university in this country is the rector.
Small_OK Dr Ferré was elected rector for the first time in the year 2007 and re-elected four years later.
Small_OK Dr Ferré, rector of the University, was first elected in 2007.

In titles that are hyphenated compounds it used to be standard practice to capitalise only the first part of the compound. Nowadays, however, the tendency is to capitalise both parts.

Small_OK The Vice-Rector for Academic Policy described the new reforms to the Governing Council.
Small_OK The vice-rector for academic policy is responsible for making large-scale changes to degree programmes.

The title is lowercased in the second example above because it is a reference to the position of vice-rector, not to a particular person.

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