- The Right Reverend Augustus Short, DD, Bishop of Adelaide, Vice-Chancellor 1874, elected Chancellor 1876
- The Right Honourable Sir Samuel James Way, Bart., PC, DCL, LLD, Chief Justice of South Australia, Vice-Chancellor 1876, elected Chancellor 1883
- The Reverend Professor William Roby Fletcher, MA, Vice-Chancellor 1883-1887
- The Venerable George Henry Farr, MA, LLD, Archdeacon of Mt Gambier and the West, Rector of St Luke's, Adelaide, Vice-Chancellor 1887-1893
- John Anderson Hartley, BA, BSc, Inspector-General of Schools, Vice-Chancellor 1893-1896
- William Barlow, CMG, LLD, Vice-Chancellor 1896-1915
- The Honourable Sir George John Robert Murray, KCMG, BA, LM, Judge of the Supreme Court, Vice-Chancellor 1915, elected Chancellor 1916
- Professor Sir William Mitchell, KCMG, MA, Vice-Chancellor 1916, elected Chancellor 1942
- The Honourable Sir Herbert Angas Parsons, LLB, Judge of the Supreme Court, Vice-Chancellor 1942-1945
- Professor John McKellar Stewart, CMG, PPhil, Deputy Vice-Chancellor 1943-1945, Vice-Chancellor 1945-1948
- Albert Percival Rowe, CBE, BSc, LLD (Melb), Vice-Chancellor 1948-1958
- Sir Henry Bolton Basten, CMG, MA, DLitt, Vice-Chancellor 1958-1967
- Professor Emeritus Sir Geoffrey Malcolm Badger, AO, Ktcr, PhD, DSc, DUniv (Adel), FRSC, FRACI, FTSE, FAA, FACE. Deputy Vice-Chancellor 1966-1967, Vice-Chancellor 1967-1977
- Professor Donald Richard Stranks, AO, MSc, PhD, Vice-Chancellor 1977-1986
- Professor Kevin Marjoribanks, BSc, DipEd (UNSW), BA (UNE), MEd (Harvard), PhD (Toronto), FASSA, FACE, FSS, Pro-Vice-Chancellor 1986-1987, Vice-Chancellor 1987-1993 (Emeritus Professor 2005)
- Professor Gavin Brown, MA, (StAnd), PhD (N'cle,UK), FAA, Vice-Chancellor 1994-1996 (Emeritus Professor 1996)
- Professor Mary Josephine O'Kane, BSc (Qld), PhD (ANU), FTSE, Vice-Chancellor 1997-2001 (Emeritus Professor 2001)
- Professor Clifford Douglas Blake, AO, PhD (Lond), BSc (Hons) (Syd), DUniv (Charles Sturt), PhD (aeg) (Adel), Hon. DEduc Admin (Syd), (Emeritus Professor, Charles Sturt, 2001), Vice-Chancellor 2001-2002
- Professor James Alexander McWha, AO, BSc, BAgr (Hons) (Belfast), PhD (Glasgow), PhD (aeg) (Adel), DSc (hc) (Massey) Vice-Chancellor 2002-2012 (Emeritus Professor 2012)
William Barlow - Vice Chancellor - University of Adelaide - Concerning appointment of additional examiners
Archdeacon George Henry Farr - Vice-Chancellor - Whitmore Square Adelaide - Authorises Appointment Professor Tate as Examiner in Geography for Junior Public Examination
Archdeacon George Henry Farr - Vice-Chancellor - Whitmore Square Adelaide - Calling Special Meeting of Council for Election of Chancellor
Archdeacon George Henry Farr - Vice-Chancellor - Whitmore Square Adelaide - Concerning Mr G A Farr and Report on Wirreanda Lands
George H Farr - Vice Chancellor - St Lukes Parsonage - Whitmore Square Adelaide - Authority to Paint Front Fence According to Specifications
Archdeacon George Henry Farr - Vice Chancellor Whitmore Square - Concerning special meetings of Council and Finance Committee
The Office of Vice-Chancellor was established by the Act of Incorporation No. 20 of 1874 section 2. The Vice-Chancellor was to be elected by Council and at the first Council meeting of 11 December 1874 the Right Reverend Augustus Short, Lord Bishop of Adelaide, was elected as the first Vice-Chancellor.
The terms of office of the Chancellor and Vice-Chancellor were fixed by statute (allowed November 1881), and amended as regards the Chancellor in 1912 and with reference to the terms of office of the Vice-Chancellor in 1942.
Until 1948 the position was honorary, and AP Rowe was appointed the first full time salaried Vice-Chancellor in September 1947 (taking up duties in May 1948) at a salary of £2,000 plus a £250 expense allowance.
In January 1975, under the new University of Adelaide Act No. 41 of 1971, the functions of the Vice-Chancellor as the Chief Executive Officer of the University were formally prescribed by Statute.
In August 2004, the title of Vice-Chancellor was changed to Vice-Chancellor and President.