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.

Expand All

Membership as at TT 2020 will be as follows


  Name Conditions of appointment Until
[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] Professor Stephen Faulkner, Keble, Faculty of Chemistry As above MT 2020
[8] Dr Chris P Conlon, Oriel, Faculty of Clinical Medicine As above MT 2020
[9] Dr Dora Biro, St Hugh's, Faculty of Zoology As above MT 2020
[10] Nicholas C Bamforth, MA BCL Oxf, Fellow of Queen's, Faculty of Law As above MT 2021
[11] Professor S F Rayner, MA, Fellow of Keble, Faculty of Anthropology and Geography As above MT 2021
[12] Professor Peter B Sullivan, Magdalen, Faculty of Clinical Medicine As above MT 2021
Secretary: Council Secretariat (Rebecca Thomas)

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

Rebecca Thomas

Planning and Council Secretariat

Popular links