Otago Daily Times

Col­lege board will op­pose Sel­wyn sale

- HAMISH MA­CLEAN hamish.ma­clean@odt.co.nz

THE Sel­wyn Col­lege board of gov­er­nors, at a spe­cial synod meet­ing on Satur­day, will ac­tively op­pose the sale of the 1893 Dunedin res­i­den­tial col­lege.

Board chair­woman Anne Stevens said she would put for­ward a strong ar­gu­ment for the dioce­san coun­cil of the Angli­can Church to re­tain the 170­bed Cas­tle St col­lege at the morn­ing meet­ing at St Mathew’s Church at the week­end.

The col­lege had a spe­cial char­ac­ter that could not be re­tained through a sale, Mrs Stevens said.

When the sale was pro­posed more than two years ago, there was a con­text con­ducive to the idea, she said.

The col­lege at the time pre­sented a rep­u­ta­tional risk for the Angli­can dio­cese but the si­t­u­a­tion there had since ‘‘turned around 100%’’.

There were some tra­di­tions, in­clud­ing ini­ti­a­tions, that were no longer per­mit­ted, and there was now a dif­fer­ent tone at the col­lege.

The ap­point­ment of Luke Mc­Clel­land as war­den in Oc­to­ber 2018 had provided sta­bil­ity at the col­lege, and res­i­dents fully sup­ported re­ten­tion, she said.

‘‘They love the idea of the in­de­pen­dent col­lege, that they’re dif­fer­ent from the oth­ers, that there is a point of dif­fer­ence,’’ Mrs Stevens said.

Pri­vate col­leges provided more than 600 beds for the Univer­sity of Otago, and Sel­wyn Col­lege was an im­por­tant el­e­ment of pro­vid­ing space, and care, for first­year stu­dents, Mrs Stevens said.

How­ever, the un­cer­tainty of the past two years had af­fected col­lege res­i­dents and staff, and so Satur­day’s fi­nal de­ci­sion on the col­lege’s fu­ture was ‘‘very im­por­tant’’.

In Septem­ber 2018, af­ter the church voted to al­low the sale of the build­ings and busi­ness, for­mer Sel­wyn Col­lege board of gov­er­nors chair­man the Rev Aaron Dou­glas said the prob­lem for the church was mostly one of ca­pac­ity to man­age the col­lege, rather than a fi­nan­cial is­sue.

The move at the time was part of a trend for res­i­den­tial col­leges to move from church con­trol to that of the Univer­sity of Otago.

The plan was vig­or­ously op­posed by some, in­clud­ing 280 Sel­wyn res­i­dents and for­mer res­i­dents who signed a pe­ti­tion call­ing for church in­volve­ment to con­tinue at the col­lege.

Mrs Stevens said the in­de­pen­dent con­sul­ta­tion panel ap­pointed by the dioce­san coun­cil would also now put for­ward a case for re­tain­ing the col­lege.

The 63­page re­port by the con­sul­ta­tion panel chaired by Arch­bishop Sir David Moxon, which ac­com­pa­nies the or­der pa­pers for the Satur­day meet­ing, can­vasses sev­eral mod­els for sell­ing the col­lege, and three pos­si­ble mod­els for keep­ing the col­lege.

It states in con­clu­sion that the case for keep­ing the col­lege is ‘‘more com­pelling’’ if the col­lege’s spe­cial char­ac­ter is fur­ther de­vel­oped, its process of cul­ture change con­tin­ues, and it is de­vel­oped to res­onate with Angli­can val­ues.

The col­lege helped pro­duce All Black David Kirk, Dunedin MP David Clark and for­mer prime min­is­ter Sir Wil­liam English, as well as be­ing the home of the Sel­wyn Bal­let.

 ??  ?? Af­ter more than two years of un­cer­tainty, a de­ci­sion on the fu­ture of Angli­can own­er­ship of Dunedin’s Sel­wyn Col­lege is due to be made on Satur­day.
Af­ter more than two years of un­cer­tainty, a de­ci­sion on the fu­ture of Angli­can own­er­ship of Dunedin’s Sel­wyn Col­lege is due to be made on Satur­day.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand