Decanal Team

The Dean is in charge of the discipline of the College’s Junior Members. The role is wide-ranging, and although it excludes individual pastoral matters, does take account of the general welfare of Junior Members. Particularly, the Dean is concerned with matters of policy and with the College’s rules, which are set out in the College Handbook. Junior Members should feel free to approach the Dean on any appropriate matter, particularly if it involves non-pastoral difficulties outside the College, and indeed, are urged to do so. Junior Members may also be summoned to see the Dean, and they are reminded that such summons take priority over any academic, sporting or social engagement.

The College also has an Assistant Dean, and four Junior Deans. The role of the Assistant Dean is focused on managing day-to-day issues; Junior Members wishing to hold events should ensure that they approach him first. The Junior Deans deal with disciplinary matters on the ground, and one Junior Dean is rostered to be on duty every night from weeks nought to nine.

Those wishing an appointment to see the Dean or the Assistant Dean on non-urgent matters should contact the Deans’ secretary, Jacqui Julier. If the matter is urgent, the Junior Member should contact the Dean via the College Lodge, or directly on 07786 061 613.

Michael Burden - Dean

Office: SH G2 A
Room: 12 OB 3
Office phone: 71976
Room Phone: 79526
Mobile: 07786 061 613

Michael's biography can be found on his fellow's information page.

Michael Burden Photo
Gideon Elford - Assistant Dean

Room: 6 NB 2
Room Phone: 79546
Mobile: 07941 785381

Formerly a Junior Dean at New College, Gideon has recently completed his DPhil in Political Theory. Gideon studied for both his undergraduate and graduate degrees at New College and is now a Departmental Lecturer in Political Theory. He is currently working on issues in egalitarian distributive justice and individual responsibility.

Gideon is a film lover and an amateur screenwriter. He is also a fitness enthusiast, spending his much of his time either in Iffley gym or out on the road training for his next half marathon. A keen sportsman, Gideon has played for the College 1st XI football team for several years and was formerly a member of the Oxford University Boxing squad.

As Assistant Dean, Gideon is in charge of granting permissions for events held in College.

Giden Elford Photo
Oscar Lyons - Junior Dean

Room: Castle Mill, Block E, Room 217
Mobile: 07491 868963 

Oscar is a DPhil Student in Leadership Development in Health (Surgical Sciences). His research focuses on improving the clinical outcomes of leadership development programmes in health. He coordinates and delivers a leadership programme for trainee doctors at Oxford University Hospitals, as well as researching other programmes locally, nationally and internationally.

Oscar trained and worked as a doctor in New Zealand before moving to Oxford for his DPhil. Since moving here, Oscar has spent much of his spare time singing, rowing and running leadership courses. Oscar plans to move into academic medicine after completing his DPhil, specialising as an anaesthetist and teaching/researching leadership.

Robert Freeman - Junior Dean

Room:  Weston Buildings, House 6, Room 16
Mobile: 07874 989303

Robert Freeman is a DPhil student in English, exploring theories of interpretation and the formation of literary value. He has previously worked on displacement in the context of natural disasters for the United Nations' Nansen Initiative, and as a judicial clerk at South Africa's Constitutional Court. His subsequent legal work focused on administrative, refugee and constitutional law. At Oxford, Robert is a member of the TORCH Race and Resistance Network, and conducts research for the Bonavero Institute of Human Rights. His wider interests include world cinema, ultimate frisbee and cricket, for which he is a qualfied umpire.  

Robert Freeman
Matthew Courtis - Junior Dean

Room: Sacher Building, House 1, Room 18
Mobile: 07872 908650

Matthew Courtis is an Engineering DPhil student researching at the Oxford Thermofluids Institute. He holds a Master’s degree in Engineering from Lincoln College, Oxford (2013-2017) and MRes in Gas Turbine Aerodynamics from Queens’ College, Cambridge (2017-2018). His current research focuses on transpiration-cooling for jet engine blades, aiming to improve both engine efficiency and performance. Aerospace technology fascinates him, with dreams to one day work for NASA or the ESA. 

Hailing from the Caribbean, and being constantly in the Sea, Mathew enjoys most water-based sports such as swimming, sailing, and surfing. He was Men’s Captain of the Oxford Swimming team (2015-2016), as well as achieving full Blues at both Oxford and Cambridge. He is proud to have represented Barbados at the Junior World Championships in both swimming and sailing.

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