As of August, the Oxford Centre for Buddhist Studies will no longer be a Recognised Independent Centre of the University of Oxford. This is at the University’s request, as they retire the category. We have enjoyed this phase of our existence, assisting to build the study of Buddhism at Oxford and, crucially, securing an endowment for the Numata Chair in Buddhist Studies.
The Centre remains committed to supporting Buddhist Studies at Oxford and we are currently finalising a Memorandum of Understanding with the University to govern our future relationship. We hope that very little will change in practice, and we intend to continue our current activities such as the annual Visitorship programme, and awarding grants for students at the University, thus supporting initiatives that create a fertile ground for Buddhist Studies in Oxford. Alongside this we will continue to develop our other activities such as publishing our Journal, creating online teaching courses – available worldwide, and developing resources to enhance Buddhist scholarship, such as the Pali Hub.
To coincide with this, Professor Gombrich will be retiring from the position of Academic Director. He continues on the Board of Trustees and still advises the Centre on all matters, so we will still benefit from his passion and expertise. The Chair of the Trustees has been taken up by Mr Charles Shaw, who comes with many years of high-level administrative experience within the University, along with a keen interest in Buddhist Studies. We are very grateful to have him joining our team. The Trustees have organised a steering committee that continues the current plans developed by Professor Gombrich and our online courses team, and we hope in due course to appoint a new Academic Director.
We are sure everyone would like to join us in offering our heartfelt thanks to Professor Gombrich for his unstinting dedication to the Centre over the last 16 years, and we look forward to sharing our journey with you as we move into the future.