Who does what?
The senior members of the College have a bewildering array of job titles. You might reasonably ask, What do they all mean, and how does it all work?
The Governing Body of the College consists of the Master, who, as Head of the College chairs the Governing Body, and about 40 Official and Professorial Fellows. Most of these Governing Body Fellows are active academics. Many hold positions in the University's faculties and departments as well as in the College, and divide their time between university teaching, college teaching, and research. A few of the Official Fellows, such as the Bursar, the Development Director, or the Chaplain, have full-time roles at Magdalene, helping ensure that the College runs smoothly and the community functions well.
The Governing Body as a whole meets about three times a term and is responsible for all aspects of College governance, finance, and policy. Much of its day-to-day work is carried out by sub-committees, or delegated to specific College Officers, the majority of whom are themselves members of the Governing Body. As the College is a Registered Charity, the Governing Body Fellows also hold legal responsibility as de facto Charity Trustees.
In addition to the members of the Governing Body, there are various other categories of Fellows. These are also senior members of the College community and enjoy most of the same rights as the Official and Professorial Fellows, but do not have a formal role in College governance.
There are about 20 Research Fellows. Many Research Fellows will do some teaching, but most of their time is spent working on research projects in their particular field of expertise. Junior Research Fellows are early-career academics, often in their first substantive post following the completion of their doctorate. The College provides them with three-year appointments during which they are likely to complete their first major piece of postdoctoral research. Senior Research Fellows are at a more advanced stage in their careers, and often hold research positions elsewhere in the University (or even in other universities) alongside their fellowship at Magdalene.
There are a similar number of Emeritus and Life Fellows. These are senior academics who have retired from full-time teaching but retain an honoured place in College life. They are all former Governing Body or Senior Research Fellows. Most are still research active and a number continue to teach. Some still serve on one or more College committees.
Teaching Bye-Fellows are holders of short-term appointments of up to two years, and are appointed to fill particular teaching needs. Fellow-Commoners may similarly offer teaching provision, usually on a longer-term basis; others in this category contribute particular professional expertise, for example as the College Advocate (legal advisor), the College Accountant, or the Director of College Music.
The final category of Fellow is that of Honorary Fellowship. Honorary Fellows are particularly distinguished people to whom the College has elected to grant special recognition. Many, although not all, are former students or members of the College's teaching staff. The current Honorary Fellowship also includes our two previous Masters.
There are then a number of College Lecturers who are not Fellows, but have some of the same privileges. Many of these will be Fellows of other colleges (it is only possible to be a Fellow of one college), who contribute to the teaching of their subject at Magdalene as well as in their own college.
College Research Associates are junior academics, usually employed on a research project in one of the University's faculties. A research associateship provides them with a college home, in return for which they offer a limited amount of college teaching.
Finally, each undergraduate subject area then has one or more Director(s) of Studies, or 'DoS'. Directors of Studies are drawn from amongst the Fellows and College Lecturers and are responsible for providing academic oversight and guidance for students in their subject area or 'tripos'.
None of this would happen at all without the dedication of a large College staff, who maintain the College's buildings and infrastructure, keep Fellows and students well fed, administer the College offices, look after the beautiful gardens, and much more besides.