Section 9: academic-related staff handbook

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The personal property of employees is not covered by university or departmental insurance policies. Members of staff are asked to ensure that their personal property is well secured and preferably covered by an extension to the employee's home contents insurance policy.

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The following guidance on academic dress is given by the Vice-Chancellor with the approval of Council and sets out the main university occasions and the appropriate dress for each occasion.

  • Bands: These are worn by those holding particular offices or carrying out particular duties at university functions and also by those with higher doctorates when in full academic dress.

  • 'Black Gowns': Whenever this appears it means the black gown only is worn (i.e. without hood or any other elements of academic dress).

  • Caps, Squares (mortar boards), and Bonnets: Men remove these in churches and by tradition when processing through the Divinity School. The Chancellor, the Vice-Chancellor (but not in the Sheldonian at Encaenia and Royal occasions if the Chancellor is present), the Proctors and the Public Orator retain their caps in other buildings, but other men remove theirs. Women wear theirs throughout university ceremonies.

  • 'Chancellor will be present': Black gowns are worn unless otherwise specified.

  • Chancellor's Court of Benefactors: Members of the Court wear the robes and bonnet of the Court; these are of maroon cloth with black lace on the sleeve, facing, and yoke of the robe. Oxford graduates wear subfusc with full academic dress: doctors wear scarlet robes, masters and bachelors wear gowns and hoods; graduates of other universities wear the academic dress of their own university. Members of the Court may wear their robe on any university occasion when academic dress is worn.

  • Church Services: As a general rule doctors wear Convocation habit, other graduates black gowns (the preacher, if not a doctor, also wears a hood); black gowns only are worn on Quinquagesima, in Lent, on weekdays, and at memorial services. On special days, specified in the Gazette, doctors wear academic full dress (scarlet robe).

  • Clerics (Clerks in Holy Orders): Clerical dress or black cassock may be worn as subfusc under a gown. Bands are normally worn with a doctor's robe; a black clerical scarf may also be worn with a cassock. In subfusc a clerical collar may be worn in place of a white tie.

  • Congregation, Ancient House of: See Degree Ceremonies.

  • Congregation (ordinary meetings of, debates): Black gowns are worn.

  • Congregation (meetings for the Vice-Chancellor's or Senior Proctor's Orations, including Admissions): Those participating (in Michaelmas Term the Vice-Chancellor, Proctors, Pro-Vice-Chancellors, Assessor, Registrar, and Clerks of the Market; in Hilary Term the Vice-Chancellor, Proctors, and Assessors demitting office and to be admitted to office, Pro-Proctors to be admitted, the heads of houses presenting the new Proctors and Assessor, and the Registrar) all wear subfusc with bands; doctors (unless Proctors or Proctors-elect) wear Convocation habit with hood; others wear MA gown and hood (or Proctors' hoods when in office). In the case of those attending the ceremonies and the subsequent luncheons, doctors wear Convocation habit with white tie, others wear gowns and hoods.

  • Degree Ceremonies: Deans of Degrees and others participating wear subfusc with, for doctors Convocation habit, hoods, and bands, and for masters gown and hood. Senior members attending as observers wear black gown and hood. Candidates wear subfusc with, when being presented, the robes of their previous Oxford degree or research student's or undergraduate's gown (as appropriate) (candidates being presented for the D.Phil., or a master's degree other than MA, who have no Oxford degree may wear the robes of their previous university); after admission the full academic dress of the degree awarded (i.e. scarlet robes for doctors) is worn. Candidates being presented for incorporation wear the Oxford robes of the degree into which they are being incorporated.

  • Dinner in Colleges: Conventions vary. At most colleges fellows and other senior members wear black gowns in hall, but remove them in the common room (though a gown may be retained by the head of house). At many colleges resident members of the University who are not members of the college also wear gowns.

  • Dinner (Chancellor's Court): The Chancellor wears a scarlet robe; members of the Court the court robe; others wear black gowns (no hoods).

  • Dinner (Chancellor's, prior to Encaenia): Black gowns.

  • Dinners (other, in the presence of the Chancellor or Vice-Chancellor): Black gowns unless otherwise indicated.

  • Encaenia: All attending wear subfusc and the full academic dress of their Oxford degree (scarlet robes for doctors, gowns and hoods for other degrees); doctors (with higher doctorates) and those with particular offices or functions also wear bands.

  • Examinations: Examiners, moderators, invigilators, and candidates all wear subfusc with black gowns and hoods as appropriate. Doctors may wear Convocation habit. Examiners from other universities may, if they wish, wear the academic dress of their university.

  • Full Academic Dress: Scarlet robes (not with hoods) for doctors; gowns and hoods for other degrees, with bonnets (DCLs and DMs only), squares, or caps. Subfusc clothing is normally worn with full academic dress, the main exceptions being at garden parties.

  • Garden Party (Encaenia): Full academic dress of Oxford or another university (subfusc is not required; ordinary dress may be worn beneath robes).

  • Garden Parties (other, in the presence of the Chancellor or Vice-Chancellor): Full academic dress as for the Encaenia Garden Party or, if specified, black gowns and hoods.

  • Convocation Habit for Doctors: A sleeveless scarlet cloak (chemir) (linings and facings depending on the degree), which is worn with a hood, over the black laced gown (DD has a distinctive black gown).

  • 'Gowns will be worn': Black gowns.

  • Lectures (inaugural and major public): The lecturer wears a black gown and hood or when a doctor, if wished, scarlet robe (in which latter case subfusc is not required but may be worn if preferred). Others wear a black gown.

  • Matriculation Ceremony: Deans as for Degree Ceremonies, students subfusc with gowns.

  • Memorial Services: Black gowns.

  • Military Personnel: Service dress may be worn in place of subfusc.

  • Priests: See Clerics.

  • Subfusc: Dark suit with dark socks, or a dark skirt with black stockings or trousers with dark socks and an optional dark coat; black shoes, plain white collared shirt; a black tie or white bow tie.

  • 'Vice-Chancellor will be present': This note indicates that black gowns should be worn unless otherwise specified.

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