Saturday, September 10, 2016

VICE CHANCELLOR: NYC Talk, Sep. 8, 2016

My view of Louise Richardson during her
talk. She spoke about Oxford's leadership
in many fields of study.
I was pleased to be able to attend Vice Chancellor Louise Richardson's talk to Oxford Alumni/ae in New York City at the North American office.

The flavor of her talk may be derived from the Oxford facts-and-figures posted online. She is proud of the Times Higher Education rankings that put Oxford in first place among universities in certain areas, like medical education and life sciences.

I got a chance to talk with for a minute before she was whisked away to her next appointment.

She is the first woman to be elected Vice Chancellor in Oxford's 800-year unbroken chain of chief executives.

With Hillary Clinton (L) at St Andrew's.
Prof. Louise Mary Richardson is an expert on international security and terrorism. 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 was described last year 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 of Barnes, Oxford's Chancellor, supervised the process by which the new Vice-Chancellor was selected. 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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