St Paul’s College has appointed Reverend Dr Edward Loane as its new Warden. Loane is an internal appointment, despite launching an “international search” for the Warden position in July, after the previous Warden, Dr. Donald Markwell, resigned after just three semesters.
Loane’s appointment is a return to the historical norm of having an Anglican cleric as the College Warden. Markwell was appointed as the College’s first lay-Warden after the St. Paul’s College Act 2018, which Loane worked on, removed the requirement that the Warden be a clergyman.
Loane was previously the Clerical Fellow on the College Council, from May 2017 until now. St Paul’s said in a statement that, during his tenure as Clerical Fellow, Loane was “instrumental in governance matters such as our new Act, and in leading the cultural renewal process at St Paul’s, taking the initiative in the implementation of recommendations of the Broderick Review.”
The Broderick Cultural Review into St Paul’s College, released in 2018, provided evidence of negative patterns of hazing and sexism endemic to the institution, making significant recommendations for reform.
Whether Loane’s appointment signals a positive direction for St Paul’s problematic history of hazing and misogyny is unclear.
Honi reported in June this year that, during Loane’s time on the Council, St Paul’s released a progress report that seemed to overstate the success of reforms made. In particular, while claiming that there were “no reports of hazing activity during Welcome Week”, no recognition was made of the hazing incidents which occurred a month earlier on Anzac Day, where “freshers” were sorted into “platoons” and told to drink until they vomited.
Loane’s appointment should not be celebrated, according to Jazzlyn Breen and Layla Mkh, the 2019 USyd Women’s Collective co-convenors.
“To appoint someone with such extreme ties to the College, who openly has said he loves college, does not bode well for a genuine commitment to the huge cultural change that is necessary within this institution,” Breen and Mkh said.
In a statement made today, St Paul’s praised Loane as an “Old Pauline” with a “committed Anglican faith, and a deep love for the college.” Before taking his position at St Paul’s, Loane was a lecturer in Theology and Church history at Moore Theological College, Sydney, adjacent to USyd’s Camperdown campus.
Loane will commence as Warden in early 2020, and “will move into residence with his wife Jocelyn and his five children.”