Assistant Vice-Principal Dean of Arts and Divinity

The Assistant Vice-Principal (AVP) Dean of Arts and Divinity is a member of the Principal’s Senior Management Team. Reporting directly to the Master of United College, the Dean works closely with the Master, Heads of School, other AVPs, members of the Senior Management Team, senior academics and relevant professional Unit Directors.

The Dean advises the Heads of Schools in the Faculties of Arts and Divinity on aspects of University regulations and academic procedure as relevant to their remit, and offers informal counsel. They also support Schools’ implementation of their strategies, monitoring and approving developments such as staffing and budgetary changes and the creation and implementation of new policies and procedures.

The Dean supports the development, establishment and leadership of interdisciplinary and cross-Faculty academic initiatives in research, teaching and innovation.

Professor Catherine O'Leary

The current Assistant Vice-Principal Dean of Arts and Divinity is Catherine O'Leary. She took up this role in September 2022.

Catherine O’Leary is a Professor of Spanish in the School of Modern Languages. Her research focuses on theatre and censorship, gender, and memory and exile, and considers intersections between literature and politics. She also collaborates with colleagues across disciplines within and outwith the University through her role as Director of the Cultural Identity and Memory Studies Institute (CIMS).

Catherine completed her BA in Marketing and Languages (Dublin City University) and her PhD in Spanish Literature at University College Dublin. She joined the University of St Andrews in 2013.

She has previously served as Associate Dean (2017-2018), Acting Dean of Arts and Divinity (May to June 2018). More recently, she chaired the working group established to create the University’s Mental Health Strategy (2020) and was the institutional Athena Swan chair (December 2021 to September 2022), working with colleagues to enhance gender equality in our culture and practices.

Catherine is co-chair of the Scottish Arts and Humanities Alliance (SAHA), which brings together HEIs, the RSE and SGSAH to advocate for the arts and humanities in Scotland and to promote their value to culture, the economy and wellbeing.