University college head resigns23 January 2013
The principal of St Mary's University College, Twickenham, has announced he is stepping down.
Professor Philip Esler will officially leave his post on 31 March, although he will take research leave and then annual leave starting from
In a statement the principal of the Catholic university college cited issues around the planned merger the School of Theology, Philosophy and History with the
School of Communication, Culture and Creative Art.
He said the merger had become a "point of friction" in St Mary's and had "continued to attract negative attention in the Catholic press".
He said: "In implementing the decision [to carry out the merger], I myself have become the focus of such interest from the Catholic media that there is
a potential for St Mary's, a vital part of the Catholic world in the UK, to suffer in consequence.
"Accordingly, having accomplished most of what I set out to achieve on my appointment, I consider it best if I now step down so that St Mary's can
continue its exciting development under a new principal."
Professor Esler took up his post on 1 October 2010.
Former principal Dr Arthur Naylor will take up the role of interim principal at St Mary's. In a statement released today the college said that Professor
Esler had "worked tirelessly" throughout his time at St Mary's for the development of the university college.
Professor Esler will take up the title of Emeritus Professor of Biblical Interpretation at St Mary's from 1 April.
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