The Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of St Andrews, Professor Louise Richardson, is to leave the University on 31 December 2015 to take up post as the next Vice-Chancellor of the University of Oxford.
Professor Richardson has led St Andrews since January 2009, overseeing one of the most successful chapters in the 600-year history of the University.
St Andrews’ Senior Governor Sir Ewan Brown informed staff and students of Professor Richardson’s nomination to the top job at Oxford, and that the search for her successor would start imminently.
“Louise Richardson has proved a splendid leader at St Andrews, to which she has made an outstanding contribution over the last seven years,” he said.
“I believe her experience with us will stand her in good stead in her exciting new role in Oxford and she will leave at the end of this year with our very best wishes.”
“The University Court of St Andrews will shortly begin a far-reaching international search for an academic leader of vision and ambition to help this remarkable community of scholars and students build on the considerable achievements of recent years.”
The Chancellor of the University of St Andrews, Sir Menzies Campbell, said: “The appointment of Louise Richardson is a proper recognition of her enormous contribution to higher education in the United Kingdom and particularly at St Andrews.”
“I have no doubt that she will fulfil the duties and responsibilities of Vice-Chancellor at Oxford University with commitment, dedication and professionalism.”
“She goes with our blessing, our thanks and our congratulations.”
In a message to St Andrews students and staff, Professor Richardson said she looked forward to the challenge of leading Oxford, but had tendered her resignation at St Andrews with “mixed emotions.”
“My years as Principal of this extraordinary university have been the most rewarding and enjoyable of my professional life,” she said.
“I will always feel enormously privileged to have had the opportunity to be a part of this magical place.”
The Chancellor of the University of Oxford, Lord Patten of Barnes, confirmed that Professor Richardson had been nominated as its next Vice-Chancellor and subject to the approval of Congregation would take office from 1 January 2016, succeeding Professor Andrew Hamilton.
“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.” he said.
Under Professor Richardson’s leadership, St Andrews has recorded its strongest performances to date in national and international league tables, widened access to record numbers of students from non-traditional university backgrounds, raised over £50 million from alumni and supporters worldwide and invested in major improvements to its Library, Sports Centre, Students’ Union and faculties of science and arts.
In the latest higher education league table published by The Guardian this week, St Andrews was ranked 3rd in the UK, one place behind Oxford.
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