First female leader at Oxford University

The University of Oxford is about to appoint the first female member to its senior office. Professor Louise Richardson is nominated for the position of Vice-Chancellor. In the 800-year-long history of the University, this has never happened before.Currently Richardson is the Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of St. Andrews. She has built her academic career on the study of terrorism and security issues. Before that, she worked at Harvard.

In her new job at Oxford she will be responsible for the university’s daily management. In an interview with the Guardian, she 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.” She also told the paper that she hopes her nomination will inspire other female scientists.

One of Richardson’s main focus points is balancing the university’s admissions procedures. She wants to make academic education available for students from all layers of society. “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.”

Richardson will succeed the current Vice-Chancellor on 1 January 2016.

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