Oxford’s Mapstone graduates to St Andrews

Professor Sally Mapstone

Professor Sally Mapstone, the pro-vice-chancellor for education at the University of Oxford, is to be the next principal of the University of St Andrews.

Mapstone, 58, a scholar of Older Scots Literature, succeeds professor Louise Richardson and will become the eleventh principal of St Andrews when she starts the job in September.

At Oxford, Mapstone is responsible for the university’s strategy and policies for teaching, learning, student support and admissions. She was previously Oxford’s pro-vice-chancellor for personnel and equality.

Mapstone is professor of Older Scots Literature in the Faculty of English at Oxford and a Fellow of St Hilda’s College.

Her research deals primarily with literature in Scots and in Latin, with political literature, and with book history.

Mapstone is honorary president of the Scottish Text Society, an honorary fellow of the Association for Scottish Literary Studies, and a fellow of the English Association.

From 2007 to 2010, she served as chair of the English Faculty Board at Oxford.

Mapstone was the architect of Oxford’s current strategic plan and has also led on diversification of the university’s student body and of its curriculum.

She launched and remains the main sponsor of Oxford’s mentoring scheme for senior women and is currently staging a major new series of Oxford lectures on the theme of “Women of Achievement.”

St Andrews has in recent years invested in new scholarships and widening participation initiatives to broaden its intake and improve access for students from “non-traditional university backgrounds.”

In 2014/15, over a third of St Andrews’ entrant class of Scottish students was admitted with an access qualification.

“I am thrilled to be coming to the University of St Andrews as its next principal,” said Mapstone.

“Its focus on quality in education and student experience, its commitment to outreach, and its emphasis on independent-minded research all speak strongly to my own values.

“I have known the university for many years as a scholar of Scottish culture, and it will be an honour to be part of building its future.”

St Andrews Chancellor, Lord Campbell of Pittenweem, said: “I am delighted that we have been able to persuade Sally to graduate to St Andrews from Oxford!

“She is a scholar of considerable distinction and an inspired choice to lead St Andrews as it seeks to consolidate its place among the best universities in the world.”

St Andrews senior governor, Sir Ewan Brown, said: “St Andrews is fortunate to have found an academic leader of such outstanding character and calibre.

“The university undertook an exhaustive international search and in Professor Mapstone we are appointing a principal whose experience, values and drive will be essential to St Andrews’ strategic ambitions in teaching, research, fundraising and widening access to higher education.

“As a scholar, Sally is no stranger to Scotland and St Andrews and I know that she is assured of a very warm and enthusiastic welcome from our community of staff and students.”

Professor Louise Richardson, vice-chancellor at Oxford and formerly principal of St Andrews, said: “We will miss working with Sally at Oxford where she has made so many valuable contributions over the years, and I hope she will be as happy in St Andrews as I was.

“Sally will bring a deep commitment to the mission of the university. I am confident that both she, and St Andrews, are in good hands.”