London | The UK’s oldest Oxford University has nominated its first-ever female vice-chancellor, nearly 800 years after the role was created. Professor Louise Richardson, currently the principal and vice-chancellor of the University of St Andrews, will be appointed by the university’s legislative body known as ‘Congregation’ to start her new role by January 2016.
Oxford is one of the world’s great universities. I feel enormously privileged to be given the opportunity to lead this remarkable institution during an exciting time for higher education, the 56-year-old academic told the local Oxford Times newspaper. I am very much looking forward to working with talented, experienced and dedicated colleagues to advance Oxford’s pre-eminent global position in research, scholarship and teaching, she said.
Oxford currently has 11 female heads of house. The panel was deeply impressed by Professor Richardson’s strong commitment to the educational and scholarly values which Oxford holds dear. Her distinguished record both as an educational leader and as an outstanding scholar provides an excellent basis for her to lead Oxford in the coming years, University Chancellor Lord Patten of Barnes said.
Prof Richardson’s appointment will make her Oxford’s first female holder of the post since the first leader was appointed nearly eight centuries ago in 1230. Known for her work on terrorism and security studies, she is due to take over from Oxford’s current vice-chancellor Professor Andrew Hamilton.
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