The extension of principal and vice-chancellor, Professor Sally Mapstone’s contract at the University of St Andrews was announced by senior governor of the University Court, Dame Anne Pringle, on 21st January 2019.
The message was circulated to students and staff after Professor Mapstone accepted the invitation from the Court to continue her work at St Andrews until September 2026, a five-year addition to her current contract which was due to end in 2021.
This decision was reviewed by student, staff, and alumni representatives of the Court. Professor Mapstone is the 11th principal and vice-chancellor of the University of St Andrews and the second woman to hold this position.
Since her arrival in 2016, the University has risen in league tables. According to The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide, the institution is recognised as the 2020 UK University of the Year for the second time since its initial achievement of the title in 2002.
The University has also been placed as the second-best university in the United Kingdom by the Guardian Guide in 2019, beating Oxford due to its impressive student satisfaction rate and the number of students transitioning into graduate-level jobs and further study after their degree.
Professor Mapstone has also worked with Universities Scotland to steer efforts in improving policies for the accessibility of Scottish universities. Amongst other titles, Professor Mapstone is chair of the international advisory board of the University of Helsinki, trustee of the Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland, and works on the Advisory Board of the Higher Education Policy Institute.
Speaking on the continuation of Professor Mapstone’s role, Dame Pringle said, “It reflects the Principal’s outstanding performance at St Andrews and her particular strengths in leadership, strategic development,and engagement with stakeholders.”
She continued, “St Andrews will continue to require strong, thoughtful and creative leadership in the years ahead. Court is delighted that this decision will provide continuity of leadership at a critical time and ensure that the University’s considerable ambitions and challenges can be met.”