Wadham’s Assessor

20th March 2014

Wadham’s academics donned gowns and mortar boards for a Sheldonian Theatre ceremony to mark the admission of Dr Paul Martin as University of Oxford Assessor in the Proctor’s Office.

  • Dr Paul Martin with fellow academics preparing for the procession to the Sheldonian Theatre.

Paul, Wadham’s Tutorial Fellow in Politics and CUF University Lecturer in Politics, will focus on student welfare and finance in his new position, which lasts until March 2015.

The formal ceremony of admission to the Proctors’ office took place at the Sheldonian Theatre in Oxford on 19 March. A procession travelled from Wadham College to the Sheldonian where Paul was admitted by the University of Oxford Vice Chancellor, Andrew Hamilton.

The Proctors' Office is the administrative base for three senior officers of the University who are elected annually by colleges. The Assessor is appointed at the same time as the Senior and Junior Proctors, whose role is to ensure that the University operates according to its statutes. As well as being members of key decision-making committees, they deal with university student discipline, complaints and the running of University examinations

The Assessor is the third senior officer, responsible particularly for student welfare and finance.


I am thrilled to get a chance to spend a year working more closely with the central university on issues very close to the heart of many Wadhamites.

Paul Martin

Paul commented: “I am thrilled to get a chance to spend a year working more closely with the central university on issues very close to the heart of many Wadhamites.”

A booklet Essential Information for Students, produced by the Proctors and Assessor, is handed out by colleges to new students at the start of Michaelmas Term. As well as explaining the role of the Proctors and Assessor, it provides information about welfare, support, recreation, examinations and University regulations.

The office of Proctor dates back to medieval times when Proctors would prowl the streets of Oxford after dark to make sure students are wearing their academic gowns and keeping out of ale-houses. Their principal role today is to serve on various university committees and to take part in ceremonial functions such as degree ceremonies.

The post of Assessor was created in 1960 when the post holder had special responsibility for the women’s colleges. The Assessor has no disciplinary role and is now concerned with policies on student health, welfare and financial issues. The Assessor also serves on University committees.

Based in the University Offices in Wellington Square, the Proctors and Assessor are assisted by an administrative staff.