Dr Don Markwell, warden of St Paul’s College, has resigned from his position after only three semesters, according to an announcement made by the college on their website. Markwell will be taking up the Headship of St. Mark’s College at the University of Adelaide to “lead a major process of renewal,” but will continue his current role as warden until the 30th of September. Like St Paul’s, St. Mark’s has been embroiled in controversy, the most recent of which involving an event where residents dressed up as Nazis and Jewish concentration camp victims.
The resignation comes after a tumultuous year at the college, where Markwell spearheaded reforms aimed at extracting the college from its troubled history with misogyny and hazing. The first Warden of St Paul’s who is not also an ordained priest of the Anglican Church, Markwell’s time at Paul’s was marked by a greater willingness to engage with certain problematic aspects of the college’s culture, and saw the implementation of the recommendations made by the Broderick Review. Whether this has tangibly changed the college’s culture, however, is still unclear – earlier this year Honi reported on allegations of hazing during the college’s annual Anzac Day celebrations.
Sources have also alluded that Markwell’s liberalising governance and attempts to change or end certain college traditions have been met with resistance from some student residents. It is not known whether possible tensions between Markwell and the student body had any bearing on his resignation.
In response to the resignation, a global search has been started by the College Council to appoint a new Warden.