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Dr Kathryn Murphy admitted as University’s Senior Proctor

The Provost, Oriel Fellows, and invited guests joined Dr Murphy in a procession from Oriel to the Sheldonian Theatre for her inauguration.

Dr Tristan Franklinos, Oriel Lecturer in Classics and Dean of Degrees, and Dr Cosima Gillhammer, Junior Research Fellow at Christ Church, accompanied Dr Murphy as her Pro-Proctors.

Members of Congregation including the Vice-Chancellor and Pro-Vice Chancellors, and senior figures from across Oxford returned to Oriel for a celebratory lunch marking the occasion.

The University appoints new Proctors and Assessors every year on the Wednesday of the ninth week of Hilary Term. The roles of these senior officers encompass the overseeing student matters and upholding the University’s statutes and policies.

What are the main duties of the Proctors and the Assessor?

A Senior Proctor and a Junior Proctor as well as the Assessor, the third officer, who is responsible for financial matters and welfare, are selected from the Fellows of three colleges on a rota basis. Each of them holds their position for twelve months.

The essential duties of Proctors are:

  • ensuring that exams are conducted fairly and properly, and regulations of the University are observed;
  • investigating potential deviations from those rules, regulations and standards;
  • serving on a wide range of University committees.

Dr Murphy is a literary critic and scholar with interests in several areas: literature and philosophy in the seventeenth century; the genre of the essay, from Montaigne to the present; letters and alphabets, written, printed, engraved, baked, stitched, heard, and imagined; the production of images as ways of thinking or representing knowledge, especially in the early modern period, and even more especially in still life; and the relationship between poetic form, rhetorical figure, and theological and philosophical ideas. 

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All photos by John Cairns.