University of Oxford

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(ii) An asterisk against an entry in the Contents indicates a previously published notice.

Oxford University Gazette, 6 December 2007: Notices


THE PUBLIC ORATOR delivered the following speech in a Congregation held on Saturday, 24 November, in presenting for the Honorary Degree of Master of Arts

Mr Roger White, formerly Chief Technician of the Department of Anatomy

Albus est hic dies appellandus, quo hominem de universitate nostra optime meritum recte honestamus. Plato Socratis μαιευτικην τεχνην laudavit qua efficeret ut discipuli fructum sapientiae parerent; quae allegoria, ab ipsa medicinae arte ducta, ad hunc virum conferre possis. Sua enim opera sua diligentia per tres et quadraginta annos et adulescentuli innumerabiles ad artem medicinalem intellegendam ducti sunt et ipsi iam medicinae periti consilium prudens atque auxilium receperunt. Nomen eius non solum apud nos sed per totam rempublicam vulgatum est, quia et doctores ipsos docere docuerit et novos modos reppererit quibus adhibitis fragmenta carnis vel viscerum tutius reponantur. Mos est omnium gentium corpora humana quadam reverentia habere; quare magistratus scholas medicinae rigide perscrutari solent necnon consanguinei eorum qui sua corpora medicis legaverunt saepe sollicitudine moventur. Hos humanitate sua illos sollertia et dexteritate mollivit. Praeterea, inventoribus novae scholae nostrae ad anatomiam docendam constructae consilium dedit; quae tantam admirationem excitavit ut multi foris viserint, inter quos Rex Sueciae, 'magna comitante caterva', discendi causa quomodo talem officinam optime aedificare possint.

Nullum vitium in hoc viro invenire possum, nisi quod conlegae amorem paronomasiae, ut fertur, rident vel horrent. Horatius, cum Vergilium aliosque amicos laudare vellet, eos animas esse dixit 'qualis neque candidiores terra tulit'. Candidum huius Vniversitatis amicum et ego praesento, Rogerum White, inter technicos apud Facultatem Anatomiae et Physiologiae quondam principem, ut admittatur honoris causa ad gradum Magistri in Artibus.

Admission by the Chancellor

Conlega sapiens, amice dilecte, qui permultos iuvenes ad medicinae scientiam euntes multosque iam peritos adiuvisti, ego auctoritate mea et totius Vniversitatis admitto te ad gradum Magistri in Artibus honoris causa.


This is a special day, or as the Romans would have said, a white day, for upon it we are quite rightly honouring a man to whom our university owes a very great deal. Plato praised Socrates for his 'skill in midwifery', whereby he enabled his pupils to give birth to the fruits of wisdom; this metaphor, drawn indeed from the sphere of medicine, could well be applied to the present honorand. Across a period of forty-three years his efforts and his care have assisted countless young people towards the understanding of medicine, while the experts themselves have equally been the beneficiaries of his well-judged advice and help. He enjoys not only a local but a national reputation, both for training his colleagues to train others and for his involvement in the development of improved methods of tissue storage. All over the world, people are impelled towards a kind of reverence for the human body, and accordingly government imposes a strict regime of inspection on medical schools; moreover, the relatives of those who have bequeathed their bodies for medical research can easily feel some discomfort. Today's honorand has shown the sensitivity to reassure the latter and the expertise and efficiency to disarm the former. He also advised the designers of our new anatomy facility, which is so highly regarded that many people have come from elsewhere to visit it (among them the King of Sweden with a large entourage), with the object of finding out the best way of planning such centres.

I can find no fault in this man, unless one counts the report of his colleagues that he has a taste for terrible puns. When the poet Horace wanted to praise Virgil and some others among his friends, he said that the earth had never borne souls who more truly deserved to be called white. I too present a man who has earned that epithet, Roger White, formerly chief technician in the Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics, to be admitted to the honorary degree of Master of Arts.

Admission by the Chancellor

Wise colleague and well-loved friend, who have supported so many young people in their study of medicine and many professors besides, I on my own authority and that of the whole University admit you to the honorary degree of Master of Arts.

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Task Force on Academic Employment: Responses to 2007 consultation exercise

Many members of the University, as well as a considerable number of college and university bodies, took the time and trouble to respond to the consultation exercise which ended in Trinity Term 2007. The task force is very grateful for this; it is encouraged by the number and the quality of the responses received, and by the level of support for the broad thrust of its propositions. As many respondents pointed out, however, much more detailed work remains to be done.

In the course of the academic year 2007–8, the task force will develop proposals in consultation with relevant university and college representatives (particularly in relation to the implications of those proposals for educational policy and standards and resource allocation). It envisages further wider consultation once this has been done. At this stage, and in the light of the responses made in the 2007 consultative exercise, the task force wishes to make it clear that

  • it sees the creation of better structures for career progression as a clear priority: its proposals will include (but not be limited to) (i) the development of a range of different templates for joint appointments, to be used by tripartite agreement between the academic, the college, and the University following quinquennial reviews initiated by the postholder if he or she wishes; and (ii) a system of regular promotions;
  • it is committed to preserving the best features of Oxford's characteristic tutorial teaching system, and to embedding graduate teaching more firmly into future contractual arrangements for academics;
  • it has given some consideration to the model of academic appointments at Cambridge, and intends to clarify in its next consultative document why it is not convinced that moving to that model would be appropriate;
  • while it is firmly of the view that many of the important details relating to the employment of academics should be made at the level of the subject, this should happen with the full involvement of the colleges, and within clear University-wide and/or divisional frameworks.
Responses to the consultation (where respondents consented to publication), a summary and analysis of the responses, and background to the work of the task force may be found at cademic/tfnews/.

University Counselling Service

The University Counselling Service will be closed from Friday, 21 December, to Wednesday, 2 January inclusive.

During the vacation the opening times are as follows:

Week 10: 9.30 a.m.–4 p.m., Monday–Thursday; 9.30 a.m.–1.30 p.m. on Friday.

Week 11: 9.30 a.m.–4 p.m., Monday–Wednesday; 9.30 a.m.–1.30 p.m. on Thursday.

Week –1: 9.30 a.m.–1.30 p.m., Thursday and Friday.

From noughth week (Monday, 7 January) onwards the opening times will be the usual hours, 9.15 a.m.–5.15 p.m.

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The composition of the electoral board to the post below, proceedings to fill which are currently in progress, is as follows:

Drummond Professorship of Political Economy

                                                   Appointed by

The President of St John's                         Mr Vice-Chancellor [1]
The Warden of All Souls                            ex officio
Professor P. Klemperer                             Council
Professor R. Blundell                              Council
Dr M.J. Spence                                     Social Sciences Board
Professor P.J. Neary                               Department of Economics
Professor D. Acemoglu                              Department of Economics
Professor J. Humphries                             Faculty of History
Professor J. Malcomson                             All Souls College

[1] Appointed by Mr Vice-Chancellor under the provisions of Sects. 10 and 11 of Statute IX (Supplement (1) to Gazette No. 4633, 9 October 2002, Vol. 133, p. 108).

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