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Christ Church dean faces coup

Martyn Percy is accused of conduct "incompatible with the duties of the office"

Rebellious academics are reportedly seeking to oust the Dean of Christ Church Martyn Percy, as they take issue with his modernising agenda.

The Reverend Professor – who has held the post since 2014 – has spent the last two week in Wales on sick leave, allegedly as a result of a “hellish bullying campaign by dons”. He is set to face an internal tribunal, which could result in his removal from office.

While the attempted ‘coup’ is officially concerned with academic pay, which the Dean determines, Cherwell understands that the real motivation is Percy’s status as a reformer.

His tenure has been characterized by a focus on increased social inclusivity and attempts to increase the college’s state school intake. The process of removal reportedly began in September, when he sought a pay review of college staff under gender pay gap rules. Previously, he had helped derail the appointment of Philip North – who refuses to acknowledge ordination of women as priests – as Bishop of Sheffield.

For a tribunal to take place, both the Governing Body and the ‘Chapter’ of Christ Church must both determine that there is “sufficient evidence” of grounds for dismissal.

Speaking to the Daily Mail, a Christ Church insider complained that “the everyday governance of the college has all but ground to a stop.

“The dean has done nothing wrong apart from upset a number of academics close to retirement.”

A Christ Church spokesman said: “The Governing Body and Chapter of Christ Church have agreed to set up an internal tribunal with an independent chair in accordance with the college’s statutes. The tribunal will review a formal complaint made against the dean. It would not be appropriate to comment further at this time.”

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