On Friday 24 November 2017, the Senior Fellow, Professor Frances Kirwan, presented the new Master, Dame Helen Ghosh DCB, to the Visitor, Rt Hon Lord Robert Reed.* As required by the College’s Statutes, the new Master made a declaration that she would faithfully perform the duties of her office, and observe the Statutes and By-laws of the College.
The presentation was followed by a gathering of Governing Body Fellows in the Chapel, where the new Master read to the Fellowship the Visitor’s written notification that she had taken the oath of Master as required.
This concludes the Mastership election procedure, following the formal election on 6 October 2017 at College Meeting and the election in Chapel on 8 November. Dame Helen Ghosh will hold office from 3 April 2018. You can read more about her here.
* Balliol has the unique privilege of electing its own Visitor. The role of the Visitor is defined by the College Statutes. For the most part, the Visitor of Balliol is an informal adviser to the Master and Fellows, but formal advice may be given in any case of appeal or of dispute not resolvable by the members of Balliol internally, and the Visitor is also the final and binding interpreter of the College’s Statutes. The tradition for the past century has been that the Visitor has been both a former member of Balliol and a Law Lord or senior judicial figure.