Stanford’s Jane Shaw to be the new Principal of Harris Manchester College, Oxford

Harris Manchester College is delighted to announce that it has elected Jane Shaw, Dean for Religious Life and Professor of Religious Studies at Stanford, to be the new Principal from 1st October 2018.

Professor Shaw said on her election: “I am very honoured and delighted to be elected Principal of Harris Manchester College, and look forward to working with the fellows, staff and students to build on the outstanding legacy of Ralph Waller. Harris Manchester’s commitment to diversity and to educating mature students, especially those who enter higher education from unconventional routes, makes it an extraordinary college. I feel very fortunate to be joining it.”

Professor William Mander, Senior Fellow and Chair of the college search committee, said: “In Jane Shaw we have found someone who will hold firm to the values of inclusive and supportive community that have always characterised us, and at the same time confidently steer the College forward towards the next chapter of its continuing development. She has an outstanding track record of institutional leadership, a firm commitment to teaching and research, and the energy and initiative necessary to navigate the best path for the College through ever-changing circumstances and opportunities.”

A distinguished historian of Christianity and respected leader, Professor Shaw has been at Stanford since 2014 where, in addition to teaching in the areas of Religious Studies and History, her duties include providing spiritual and religious leadership for the university as a whole. Prior to going to Stanford, she was the Dean of Grace Cathedral in San Francisco, where she led a period of growth in the congregation, opened the cathedral to a wider public through the development of its public education and the founding of a resident artist programme, and increased donations significantly.

Prior to her move to Grace Cathedral, Professor Shaw taught history and theology at the University of Oxford for sixteen years from 1994 to 2010, first as a Fellow of Regent’s Park College and subsequently as Dean of Divinity and Fellow of New College. During that time, she also served as Canon Theologian of Salisbury Cathedral and was an honorary canon of Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford. Professor Shaw has a B.A. and M.A. in History from the University of Oxford; M.Div. from Harvard University; and a PhD in History from the University of California at Berkeley. She is the author and editor of several books, including Octavia, Daughter of God: the Story of a Female Messiah and her Followers (Yale 2011), for which she won the San Francisco Book Festival History Prize, and Miracles in Enlightenment England (Yale 2006).

Harris Manchester College, the only college in the University for mature graduate and undergraduate students, has done much to widen access to Oxford in terms of attracting students from a broad range of ages and a variety of backgrounds and experiences. This diversity helps create a real community of endeavour, with an atmosphere of mutual support among all College members. Dr. Waller, Principal since 1989, has steered the College through a period of great growth and improvement, and now under the Principalship of Jane Shaw the College looks forward confidently to further progress and development. Dr. Waller said: “I would like to congratulate the College on the election of Professor Jane Shaw as its new Principal. Under her leadership, the College will move forward into an exciting new future.”