Visitatorial Board Panel

The Visitatorial Board is able to hear employment matters (complaints and dismissals) where there is a question of academic freedom to be resolved, though for a first hearing the staff member may elect to instead have the matter heard by an employment review panel. The panel consists of four members selected from a panel of 12 members of Congregation, who must be engaged in teaching or research. The chair must be a person who is not a member of Congregation and is a barrister or solicitor of at least five years' standing or with judicial experience. The role of the chair is essentially to bring legal experience and an external voice to the panel: this includes making appropriate directions in advance of the hearing, deciding on how the hearing shall run and signing off the board’s decision. The chair also has a right to request that the staff member be suspended pending the outcome of the hearing where they deem this appropriate.

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Membership as at TT 2022 will be as follows

  Name Conditions of appointment Until
Chair Dame Elizabeth Slade An external chair appointed by the High Steward MT 2022
[1] Professor Helen McShane, Faculty of Clinical Medicine One of a panel of twelve persons who shall be members of Congregation required to engage in academic teaching and/or research either by their written contracts of employment or by established and agreed practice and who shall be elected by Congregation  MT 2022
[2] Dr Elizabeth J Ewart, Linacre, Faculty of Anthropology and Geography As above MT 2022
[3] Dr Tom Sanders, St Hugh's, Mathematical Institute  As above MT 2022
[4] Dr Chrystalina Antoniades, Faculty of Clinical Medicine As above  MT 2023

Dr Elizabeth A Gemmill, Kellogg, Faculty of History

 As above  MT 2023
[6] [Vacancy] (vice Professor Lesley J Smith, Harris Manchester, Faculties of History and of Social Studies)  As above  MT 2023
[7] [Vacancy] (vice Professor Stephen Faulkner, Keble, Faculty of Chemistry) As above MT 2024
[8] [Vacancy] (vice Dr Chris P Conlon, Oriel, Faculty of Clinical Medicine) As above MT 2024
[9] [Vacancy] (vice Dr Dora Biro, St Hugh's, Faculty of Zoology) As above  MT 2024
[10] [Vacancy] (vice Nicholas C Bamforth, MA BCL Oxf, Fellow of Queen's, Faculty of Law) As above MT 2025
[11] [Vacancy] (vice Professor S F Rayner, MA, Fellow of Keble, Faculty of Anthropology and Geography) As above MT 2025
[12] [Vacancy] (vice Professor Peter B Sullivan, Magdalen, Faculty of Clinical Medicine) As above MT 2025
Secretary: Council Secretariat (Louise Hasler)

Note: A Visitatorial Board comprises an external chair appointed by the High Steward, sitting with four members of the panel selected by lot. 

The Visitatorial Board meets very rarely (the last time was in 2016). The board’s remit used to be far wider but was significantly limited when Statute XII was amended in 2017.


For the regulations of the Visitatorial Board Panel, please click here:




For the statutes of the Visitatorial Board Panel, please click here:



Contact us

Louise Hasler

Assistant Registrar (Governance)

Planning and Council Secretariat


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