Talk:Wycliffe Hall, Oxford

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Current Controversy[edit]

I've moved this bit on the current controversy.

There's probably a risk in rushing straight into print on the basis of this type of speculative newspaper report. It may be that there are some issues at the college. But Firstly as with living persons they are probably not helped by external comment like this (that however is a personal view and should not preclude inclusion if other editors think the subject is suitable for inclusion), secondly the piece here seems on my reading to go beyond even what the Guardian is saying. It may be that the editor has further inside knowledge but for example the statement on staff's opinion of him isn't in the article -nor the reasons for resigning. Indeed I would think that comment on a living person in the contect of an article should come under the living persons biographical rules. What do others think? (Be Dave 18:06, 16 May 2007 (UTC))

I originally placed the comments here -but felt they should be removed altogether in the light of what guidelines say on biography e.g.

"Editors must take particular care adding biographical material about a living person to any Wikipedia page. Such material requires a degree of sensitivity, and must adhere strictly to our content policies:...

We must get the article right.[1] Be very firm about high quality references, particularly about details of personal lives. Unsourced or poorly sourced contentious material — whether negative, positive, or just highly questionable — about living persons should be removed immediately and without discussion from Wikipedia articles,[2] talk pages, user pages, and project space.

This policy applies equally to biographies of living persons and to biographical material about living persons in other articles. The burden of evidence for any edit on Wikipedia, but especially for edits about living persons, rests firmly on the shoulders of the person who adds or restores the material."

Sorry to the editor concerned -but we do need to be careful (Be Dave 19:10, 16 May 2007 (UTC))

For anyone reading this who's unaware of the controversy mentioned above, I think the least we can do is to include a link to the Guardian story in question.
Though I'm not the editor who originally added the now-removed paragraph, I think it's important that the controversy be mentioned in some way. The Grauniad story is certainly not the least reliable source I've seen cited on Wikipedia -- not by a long way! Casper Gutman 20:01, 16 May 2007 (UTC)
Casper -thanks for putting the Guardian link back in -yes that is the right thing to do. I agree that there have been some less reliable sources than it around. What is the best way of referring to the debate? Is it better to let a little bit of distance occur from the news of today so that we can assess its true significance? We don't want Wikipedia to become a proxy for the debate (I don't think that was the intention but it could go that way when something is this hot and this personal. Again what are your views -and that of the originator? (Be Dave 20:43, 16 May 2007 (UTC))
Well, I think you're right that care must be taken to avoid sensationalism and to mention only facts that we can attribute (and be confident about). For instance, it is a fact that the Guardian story appeared, and made certain allegations. Perhaps a starting point would be to simply report their reporting, though I realise it's a classic way of ducking a decision! Casper Gutman 07:18, 17 May 2007 (UTC)
Someone (anonymously) added a paragraph about the controversy again. I think it's probably harder to justify removing this than the old one as it focuses on reporting the fact that this story was in the media. Probably the para needs a bit of tweaking, and of course it needed a reference, which I've just added, but I don't think it should be removed entirely. Thoughts? Casper Gutman 10:28, 17 May 2007 (UTC)


Yes -I agree -some tweaking -factually it wasn't front page -it was page three. Will do some tweaking -if not happy feel free to tweak further. (Be Dave)
Have made some alterations -how does it look. I note that the Guardian is very careful in using bullying and intimidation in more passive/vague terms rather than attributing them directly to anyone. It's a legal fine line. We are probably best to be cautious there. Also for balance I've noted the response attributed to the College Council and Turnbull's reason for not commenting. (Be Dave 10:45, 17 May 2007 (UTC))
I'm no expert on these things, but the paragraph looks good to me now; I can't see what anyone could now object to in it as it stands, which is a great improvement -- nice work Dave! Casper Gutman 12:49, 17 May 2007 (UTC)
Thanks -if only the real life disputes could be resolved that easily! (Be Dave 21:20, 17 May 2007 (UTC))

I respectfully disagree that the article is unobjectionable. In my view, it is heavily biased against Wycliffe by exclusively quoting hostile (and, as far as I can judge as a student, in places deeply inaccurate) press coverage of the controversy. As I quite possibly have my own bias, I have chosen not to touch the existing material with one minor exception: the suggestion that Wycliffe has been singled out in the proposal not to admit undergraduates is simply a distortion of the review's conclusions to fit a specific agenda. I have added a link to appendix E of the review so readers can come to their own conclusion. Other than that, I have merely injected a slightly different perspective with supporting references.

Two things really need adding to the page, but I have not the time to do a good job if it. Firstly, Eeva John's interview in which she states that the trouble at Wycliffe is about management style rather than theology - an important countervoice to the assumption that it is all a battle between conservatism and open evangelicalism. Secondly, the departure of Clare MacInnes from the hall council over its, in her view, mishandling of the affair.

I would like another editor to ponder whether the link to the vitriolic, deeply biased and wildly inaccurate "not faith, but fanaticism" opinion piece by Giles Fraser adds anything whatsoever to the information contained in the article and linked press coverage and is in keeping with Wikipedia's aims, especially when not balanced by other perspectives such as Wycliffe's own response to the coverage. (Peter den Haan) —Preceding signed but undated comment was added at 22:42, 11 October 2007 (UTC)

Whoever complained that the article remained objectionable. I assume your comment was made in response to the editing that has happened subsequent to my change (you can check the history). I can assure you that the changes I made were not biased against Wycliffe. If I have a bias then it is in favour of the college and certainly against those wishing to use an Encyclopediac article for a continued war of attrition.

It remains my opinion that there is little benefit of a running commentary on a current dispute where the main sources of information are media news articles. I actually would prefer a return to the minimalist comments! However if we are going to have more detail lets be careful.

For example the following section needs a look at

" In September 2007, The Times reported that a panel headed by Sir Colin Lucas, former Vice Chancellor of Oxford University, was to advise the University that what is on offer at Wycliffe does not resemble.."

That the report is specifically attacking Wycliffe is the Times' intepretation. This isn't clear her because the part about "what is on offer at Wycliffe" reflects very heavily the Times wording and yet is outside of the quotation marks. I think it would be better to refer specifically to the report for citation purposes and then note that the Times applied the report to the Wycliffe context. Any other thoughts. (Be Dave 18:47, 18 October 2007 (UTC))



I removed this whole section on the current controversy.

1. Its far too long and completely dominates the page, which I think is completely unreasonable. 2. It's definitely not particlarly impartial, and seems pretty biased through-out. 3. I'm not convincd that it is really relevent, or that people looking up this college will be interested in it.

While perhaps there is room for some mention of the controversy, this should be kept very short imo, and the section as it stood was so broken that it needed to be removed.

JimmyDodger (talk) 14:46, 30 June 2008 (UTC)

Please Repair[edit]

Upon visiting this page, I had hoped to learn more about Wycliffe Hall, including its history, methods, and so forth.

However, I instead found two paragraphs of limited historical information, and thirteen paragraphs of information on the "Turnbull Controversy." I believe that Wikipedia is supposed to be a source of encyclopedic information, not a newsfeed. Whereas a section on the controversy certainly should be included in the article, the article should not be dominated by it.

Radical Robert (talk) 16:36, 15 April 2008 (UTC)


Agreed. I have marked that section for its inappropriate style. It reads like a newsfeed, with different issues (e.g. the status of PPH's and undergraduate theology in the university) muddled together with the main controversy (management style and staff retention). It needs a complete re-write, so that it contains neutral coverage of the controversy (encyclopedic), rather than a blow-by-blow account (which can be found on blogs). --82.6.109.185 (talk) 16:33, 6 May 2008 (UTC)

Recentism[edit]

Please don't add info about the current leadership unless there is comprehensive coverage of the entire legacy of leadership. It's somewhere between a WP:Coatrack and WP:Recentism depending on the POV of the edits, otherwise. Toddst1 (talk) 03:14, 8 August 2008 (UTC)


Alumni[edit]

Why are some of Wycliffe Hall's more famous alumni like Donald Coggan not on the list? When I try and add them they are promptly deleted without explanation.

Is he an alumnus? Providing a source always helps against removal. I thought he was just a speaker in the Chavasse Lectures in World Mission and was a Cambridge student - St John's.--Alf melmac 10:14, 25 April 2009 (UTC)
He is a former Archbishop of Canterbury, not just a speaker in the Chavesse Lectures in World Mission! It was not referenced as none of the others seem to be and I assumed people would already know. But is any case he is an alumnus of Wycliffe Hall, Oxford, he trained there after leaving Cambridge. I refer you to http://www.archbishopofcanterbury.org/1235 —Preceding unsigned comment added by Landan19 (talkcontribs) 13:39, 25 April 2009 (UTC)
I'm not sure what connection being Arch of Cant is to Wycliffe, Oxford so I don't get your first sentence. Nope, people obviously didn't know, it doesn't appear in his article for instance...--Alf melmac 18:46, 25 April 2009 (UTC)
In any case he did train for ordination at Wycliffe Hall, Oxford after leaving Cambridge. As I said this link http://www.archbishopofcanterbury.org/1235 can serve as verification. I have also added a few more of Wycliffe's alumni. Verification is on all of their respective wiki pages.

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