Sunday, May 31, 2015

OXFORD VC: Richardson, First Woman (Updated May 29, 2016)

Louise Richardson (L) with American Friend, St. Andrews, 2013.
Richardson will be Oxford's next CEO (Vice-Chancellor).
After an 800-year unbroken chain of male chief executives, Oxford University has nominated a woman.

Prof. Louise Mary Richardson,  expert on international security and terrorism, will break the gender serenity.

She will be Oxford's first female CEO, i.e., its Vice-Chancellor.

Richardson was born in Tramore, Co. Waterford, Ireland, and was educated at Trinity College, Dublin (B.A.), UCLA (M.A.) and Harvard (Ph.D. in Government).

As Principal of St. Andrews University, she is described by a student, commenting on the announcement of her nomination as Oxford's vice-chancellor, as a "kick-ass president" who will be greatly missed.

Previously she was executive dean of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard. In an interview with The Guardian about her nomination, Richardson said:
I look forward to the day when a woman being appointed isn’t in itself news. Unfortunately, academia like most professions is pyramid-shaped—the higher up you go the fewer women there are.
One of her first priorities as vice-chancellor will be to admit a higher percentage of lower-income students. More than 40 percent of Oxford students attended private schools, and only 45 percent of undergraduates are women. Richardson said:
My parents did not go to college, most of my siblings did not go to college. The trajectory of my life has been made possible by education. So I am utterly committed to others having the same opportunity I have had.
Lord Patten, Oxford's Chancellor, supervised the
process by which the new Vice-Chancellor was selected.
Her appointment, which was overseen by Oxford's Chancellor (since 2003), Lord Patten of Barnes, must be approved by the Oxford Congregation in a balloting procedure that is this case is widely viewed as a formality. Patten said of her:
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.

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