Statement from the Master regarding complaints and recent media coverage
In recent days there has been extensive press and social media coverage about complaints received by the College. These relate to the appointment of one of our Junior Research Fellows. Understandably, the complaints and the media coverage have caused concern to our students, our Fellows and our Alumni.
It is important to emphasise that as a College we are committed to values of inclusion and diversity. We are an academic community and as such it is important to be able to debate ideas freely, in an atmosphere of mutual respect and trust. As such a community, we strongly oppose all forms of racism or bigotry.
St Edmund’s takes seriously all its obligations in respect of the matters raised by these complaints. The College must also have regard to the proper exercise of its duties of care; both to the full student cohort and wider membership of the College and also to any individual who is the subject of such complaints. It has been necessary for us to consider fully what the appropriate procedures are to follow to ensure an independent, objective, fair and transparent investigation of the allegations.
The complaints against the Junior Research Fellow will be investigated through our established internal HR procedures.
The complaints raised about the appointment process will be handled through the grievance procedure set out in the College’s Statutes. As the complaints involve senior Officers and Fellows of the College, we will appoint an external grievance committee from other Colleges. It will be chaired by a member of the University’s law faculty or a lawyer of good standing with relevant experience.
Each of the above procedures will provide all relevant parties with the opportunity to make representations in relation to the allegations raised by the complaints.
I ask that the entire wider College community gives due respect to all those involved in the investigations to enable them to proceed with their enquiries.
An update as to the outcome of the investigations will be made in due course. In the meantime, any further questions or comments may be directed to the Bursar.
12 December 2018