Personal statement from Jeremy Morris

A joint statement from me and Trinity Hall will shortly appear on the College’s website announcing my resignation as Master.  This is an additional personal statement to add more context to the announcement.

The last twenty months, since an article appeared on an online news platform outlining certain allegations concerning the College’s handling of a number of complaints, have been very difficult for all concerned.  The article was misleading in a number of respects and contained significant inaccuracies, but it was not possible for the College to rebut it in public and in detail without breaching the confidentiality of the individuals involved. 

Our inability to address the issues raised publicly left a number of questions unanswered and presented significant difficulties for the College community.  For that reason I supported the proposal to have an external investigation, and voluntarily stepped aside temporarily from my duties as Master. 

I fully recognize how hard it is for those who experience sexual harassment to come forward with a complaint.  In the case of allegations brought to my attention during my time as Master I did not prejudge matters, and always sought to follow appropriate legal advice to the best of my ability.  I have worked hard to protect the welfare of students in my time at Trinity Hall as Dean and as Master, and it has been distressing to me to know that some think otherwise, despite the evidence.  I have never had a complaint laid against me personally regarding my own behaviour.

But my term of office is drawing to an end, and whilst I am fully confident that any ongoing process by the College following the conclusions of the investigation would determine that I had done nothing wrong, I also recognize that the continuing, protracted nature of the investigation would mean many more months of distress for me and my family, and for others.  Therefore I have decided to resign as Master from 23 August 2021.

I would like to thank all those from the College community and further afield who have supported me over the last twenty months. 

31 August 2021