The University of Oxford has welcomed its 273rd Vice-Chancellor. Just the second woman to hold the position, Professor Irene Tracey CBE was admitted into the role on January 10 2023.
Professor Tracey is an Oxford local who was born in the Radcliffe and attended state schools in Oxford as well as the university where she is now Vice-Chancellor.
After working towards her doctorate at Merton College in biochemistry, Professor Tracey held a postdoctoral position at Harvard Medical School.
Who is Professor Irene Tracey?
Returning from Harvard in 1997, Professor Tracey became a founding member and then Director of the Wellcome Centre for Integrative Neuroimaging. She also became the Nuffield Professor in Anaesthetic Sciences and returned to Merton as Warden.
During her admission ceremony, Professor Tracey told the audience in the Sheldonian Theatre: “I stand here today, as surprised as no doubt you are, that after a lengthy global search this University, my University, elected a local girl – in every sense of the phrase – to be your next Vice-Chancellor. “
Being entrusted with the role gives Professor Tracey a sense of immeasurable pride.
“I am privileged and honoured to serve my hometown University that has nurtured me since my undergraduate days,” she said.
New Vice-Chancellor lays out priorities
The four key areas that the Vice-Chancellor has set out as central to her tenure in the role are Education and Teaching; Discovery and Translational Research; Local and Global Engagement; and People.
Professor Tracey said that the University needs to focus on its staff and announces a new commission on all aspects of staff pay and conditions.
“I have heard the strength of feeling on pay and working conditions, and it is a priority for me to make sure the University is doing everything it can to support staff during these difficult financial times and to be an attractive place to work in the future.”