Louise Richardson to step down as University of Oxford vice-chancellor

The Irish academic will become the next president of the Carnegie Corporation of New York, a US-based philanthropic organisation.

Prof Louise Richardson will step down as the vice-chancellor of the University of Oxford next year to become the next president of the Carnegie Corporation of New York. 

Prof Richardson will complete her seven-year term in December 2022 and take up her new appointment at the US-headquartered philanthropic fund in January 2023. 

The university said the process of choosing a successor “is already well-advanced”, with a committee overseeing the nomination formed in July this year. The committee will submit a name to the University’s Congregation for approval in summer 2022. 

“My time at Oxford has been the most exhilarating, challenging and rewarding period in my career, and there remains so much more to be done together in the year ahead,” Prof Richardson said. “At Carnegie, I will be leading a Foundation dedicated to my twin passions of education and peace, but Oxford – and my remarkable colleagues here – will never be far from my thoughts.”

The chancellor of the university – Chris Patten – said Richardson would leave the university “with our very best wishes and deepest thanks”. She is the first Oxford vice-chancellor to complete a full seven-year term since Sir Colin Renshaw Lucas, who retired in 2004. 

Prof Richardson joined Oxford in January 2016 from the University of St Andrews, where she had been principal and vice-chancellor. She has been a board member of the Corporation since 2013. 

“Louise Richardson is an outstanding public intellectual and an academic of great distinction, and we are honored to have her join us as president of the Corporation,” said Governor Thomas H. Kean, chairman of the Corporation’s board of trustees. “In addition to her many professional accomplishments, Louise possesses the personal attributes we consider most important for the position: integrity, leadership, international breadth, and a proven dedication to our work in democracy, education, and international peace and security. We could not ask for a better steward of the Corporation.”

The University of Cambridge is also searching for a new leader, after the incumbent vice-chancellor, Prof Stephen J Toope, announced he would step down at the end of September 2022.

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