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 has been Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of St Andrews since September 2016. The core values of her Principalship are excellence, inclusiveness and fairness.

Before taking up the role of Principal her academic career was spent at the University of Oxford, where she read English Language and Literature, gained her doctorate on Older Scots literature, and became Professor of Older Scots Literature in the Faculty of English Language and Literature. Earlier in her career she worked as an editor in the book publishing industry. She is an Emeritus Fellow of St Hilda’s College, Oxford and an Honorary Fellow of Wadham College, Oxford and St Cross College, Oxford.

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.

At Oxford she also served as Junior Proctor (2006-7); Chair of the English Faculty Board, (2007-10); Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Personnel and Equality (2009-11), and Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Education (2011-6). She maintains a strong interest in issues of equality and access.

Professor Mapstone also has a long-standing engagement in international issues. She is chair of the international advisory board for the University of Helsinki. In 2017 she received the Foreign Policy Association of America medal for services to higher education, and is an Honorary Fellow of the FPA.

Professor Mapstone is a member of the board of Universities UK, a member of the Higher Education Policy Institute advisory board, and a member of the National Centre for Universities and Business Growing Value Scotland Legacy Project Advisory Group.