• Darren Rawlins

It’s off to Mediation for an Oxford College and it's Dean

The dispute between Christ Church college, Oxford, and its dean, Martyn Percy has been spiraling out of control for nearly two years.

The dean was suspended by the college in November 2018, for alleged misconduct. The Dean returned to work after the conclusion of a behind closed doors tribunal headed by retired High Court judge Sir Andrew Smith.

Sir Andrew Smith dismissed the allegations against the dean and ordered his reinstatement at the college.

An employment tribunal is due to deal with the dean’s claim next year.

The dispute has cost the college an estimated £2m in legal fees. The college is believed to have lost millions in cancelled bequests and donations because of the dispute.

In such extraordinary circumstances, the Charity Commission have stepped in and told the college and the dean to enter into mediation, with a mediator selected by the Commission, and without delay.

Christ Church college have since commented ‘…The ongoing dispute between Christ Church and the dean has undoubtedly gone on for far too long. Its impact on Christ Church’s daily life, its staff, students, teaching and research, all risk being affected without the prospect of a resolution… we look forward to attending the mediation.

There has not yet been any public response from the dean.

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