Statement from the Court of the University of St Andrews

Friday 15 December 2023

The Court of the University of St Andrews is to commission an independent external investigation to address questions raised about the role and recent actions of the University Rector, Stella Maris.

The investigation will examine if the Rector’s actions and activities were compatible with the responsibilities and standards placed on her as a member of Court, and a Trustee.

University Court is the governing body of the University of St Andrews. It met in special session today (Friday 15 December) in response to questions raised by students, staff and alumni about a recent message from the Rector to the student body about the war in Gaza and Israel, and her subsequent remarks and communications.

Court recognised the Rector’s right to freedom of speech, and also noted that the Rector’s message had been welcomed by some students, staff and alumni.

Precise details of the external investigation will be developed by the Governance and Nominations Committee of Court. The investigation will report its findings and recommendations to Court in the early part of 2024.

In the interests of fairness to all parties and to allow due process to be followed, the University will not comment further at this time on what is necessarily a confidential matter.

Issued by the University of St Andrews Communications Office.

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