Source: Cardiff University
Earlier this month, Cardiff was set to announce the comedian and broadcaster as the university’s new chancellor but this was put on hold at the last minute after academics objected that the current chancellor, the Nobel prize-winning scientist Sir Martin Evans, had not been given the chance to continue in the post.
The university had sent out a press release announcing Mr Rhys Jones as the new chancellor – including pictures of him in ceremonial robes – two days before the decision was due to be debated by the court.
A spokesman for Cardiff today said it was “very sorry” for “creating the circumstances that led Griff Rhys Jones to step aside”.
In a letter to Cardiff vice-chancellor Colin Riordan, Mr Rhys Jones says that he can see the university needs “a period of reconsideration and re-evaluation”.
“It may well be that the council wants to re-offer the post to the incumbent, Sir Martin Evans. Sir Martin may decide to take it or step aside. I feel, however, that my presence only makes this a more complicated process for everyone concerned. I believe it better that I should withdraw,” he writes.
“I can’t say that I am offering my resignation. I haven’t yet been appointed. But I do not want to be further considered for this post,” he continues.
“I was honoured to be chosen…But at the moment I feel that any further association would only be the subject of dispute and that would not be good for the council or the court or the university,” Mr Rhys Jones says.
A spokesman for Cardiff said that Sir Martin has said he would be willing to serve another five-year term and that the council would consider the position at a meeting on 19 May.
He blamed the confusion around Mr Rhys Jones’ appointment on “internal rules and procedures” and that Cardiff’s “ongoing friendship with Griff Rhys Jones was never in question”.