Professor Christine Gerrard, current Vice-Principal of Lady Margaret Hall, will act as interim Principal once Alan Rusbridger steps down at the end of September 2021.
Professor Gerrard will hold the position from October 1st 2021 until September 2022. Dr Fiona Spensley will act as Vice-Principal while the election for the next Principal is held.
Professor Gerrard’s main area of research are political literature and women’s writing in the eighteenth century. She teaches period papers covering literature written between 1550-1830, and has a teaching interest in American literature from 1680-1900.
In an email sent to LMH students, Rusbridger said “She [Professor Gerrard] embodies the values of the College and will continue to further establish LMH’s reputation for academic excellence, diversity and inclusion. She and I will be working closely to ensure a seamless transition when I leave.”
Alan Rusbridger became Principal in 2015 after stepping down as Editor-in-Chief at The Guardian.
As Principal of LHM, he implemented a fully-funded Foundation Year scheme aimed at supporting applicants from under-represented groups. He told Cherwell that its establishment was the part of his principalship he was most proud of.
Mr Rusbridger told Cherwell: “I hope LMH has a clearer identity as a welcoming and inclusive college. That was, of course, how it began – as a college to include people who had been excluded from an Oxford education. 140 years on, admitting women to Oxford no longer seems a very radical idea – but it was strongly resisted at the time. It feels as if we are now having the same argument over admitting candidates from under-represented backgrounds.
“Prof Gerrard has spent most of her academic life at LMH and the College will be in very safe hands. I hope that my successors, like my predecessors continue to stay true to the LMH ethos of righting wrongs and including the previously excluded.”
Professor Gerrard told Cherwell: “My immediate priority is helping LMH students and staff to return to normality after a challenging and difficult year of Covid-19. I’m looking forward to getting everyone back on site as soon as permitted, and enjoying all the brilliant teaching and the special social and physical facilities that LMH has to offer.
“I will remain committed to ensuring that LMH pursues its goals of academic excellence, inclusion and diversity. We will be continuing LMH’s Foundation Year pioneered under Alan Rusbridger’s tenure.
“LMH has been fortunate to enjoy a period of strong and visionary leadership and we will be looking to build upon Alan’s achievements.”