The Principal and Vice-Chancellor

Professor Sally Mapstone, Principal‌Professor Sally Mapstone is the Principal and Vice-Chancellor. The Principal and Vice-Chancellor is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the University of St Andrews. Since the mid 1800s it has been customary that one person holds two titles: the post of Principal representing the executive function and the post of Vice-Chancellor the ceremonial function.‌

Responsibilities of the Principal include:

  • the overall running of the institution
  • presiding over Senate, the supreme academic body of the University
  • conferring degrees in the absence of the Chancellor.

Professor Sally Mapstone

Sally Mapstone became Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of St Andrews in September 2016. Her academic career before that was spent at the University of Oxford, where she read English Language and Literature and where she gained her doctorate on Older Scots literature. She most recently served as Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Education (2011-2016), and was also Professor of Older Scots Literature in the Faculty of English Language and Literature. She was a Fellow of St Hilda’s College, Oxford. She was previously Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Personnel and Equality at Oxford, and maintains a strong interest in equality issues. Professor Mapstone also has a long-standing engagement in European issues and has served on the steering group for the League of European Research Universities community of Vice-Rectors for Teaching and Learning; she is a member of the international advisory board for the University of Helsinki. Earlier in her career she worked as an editor in the book publishing industry.

Her research deals with literature in Scots and in Latin before 1707, with political literature, and with book history. She is Honorary President of the Scottish Text Society, an Honorary Fellow of the Association for Scottish Literary Studies, and a Fellow of the English Association.