Transcript: Vice-Chancellor's end of term message

This message was emailed to all staff on 12 December.


Dear colleagues,

As we enter the final stretch of this term, I bring you season's greetings and I hope that you and your loved ones are well.

And as I come to the end of my first full year in the job, perhaps a little greyer, I am prompted to reflect on just how fortunate I am to be your Vice-Chancellor, and of this amazing institution that we all love so much.

So thank you for your warm welcome and support.

Our standing on the world stage is unquestioned through our fantastic teaching and research delivered by you, our dedicated and skilled staff, and our students continue to inspire and energise us all. 

Thank you for everything you do to make this place and our community so, so special.

During my many departmental and college visits, I have witnessed the depth, breadth and quality of our work within departments, divisions and colleges, and it is truly breathtaking. It has been such a joy to get to know better all parts of this great collegiate University and witness first-hand your brilliance.

And yet I am ambitious for what more we can do for the world by harnessing those enormous strengths and our collective desire to have Oxford lead together as we tackle some of the world's great challenges, notably climate change.

The report that I co-chaired for the government on the role that British universities can play in driving economic growth through spinouts and innovation was published on 21 November, and I am pleased to say that all the recommendations have been accepted by the government.

I am very optimistic about Oxford's role in taking forward our plans around creating an innovation ecosystem to rival anywhere in the world.

More locally, in our local and global work, the Sport Leadership Programme is well underway. We've had thirty Year 8s come into the University once a week learning about key sport-related research, whose participation I have personally witnessed. It is a great example of people coming together to connect us to a school in our very own local community.

We now have the results of our staff experience survey, giving us critical information on where we must do better – and do better we will. 

I was delighted to see some of our strongest responses in the area of good relationships with colleagues, staff feeling that they can have a voice within their team and that they feel able to be themselves at work.

It is so important that we continue to strive to create an environment where key foundations of a respectful, inclusive and collaborative working environment take centre stage.

Finally, and during a time when we have so many peoples suffering through war and conflict, I extend my heartfelt sympathies and thoughts to those of you directly affected. Let us hope for peace in 2024.

Meanwhile, to you all, I send the warmest of well wishes for the festive period and new year. Take a good and well-deserved break, and I look forward to seeing you energised and refreshed, ready for a terrific 2024.

And now, to sing us on our way, I'm delighted to introduce Worcester College Choir.

Worcester College Choir sing 'We wish you a Merry Christmas'.