Reverend slips up on clerical errors

October 25, 1996

A Durham University college principal whose work permit application contained misleading information will be allowed to stay in this country.

But investigations are continuing over how the information came to be wrong.

The university alerted the Department for Education and Employment after discovering discrepancies in material concerning the Rev Dr Duane Arnold, the American-born principal of St Chad's theological college.

It discovered mistakes in details of Dr Arnold's career listed in Who's Who and in papers submitted to the university in an application for a work permit in 1994.

A spokesman for the DFEE, which issued the permit, said the college had since provided evidence confirming Dr Arnold had suitable qualifications to fulfil the work permit criteria.

The university is continuing to investigate the matter, which will be discussed at the next meeting of its council on November 5.

A university spokesman said: "There is no doubt that the principal holds the qualifications necessary for the post to which he was appointed."

But university sources pointed out it was the college council which was responsible for appointing the principal, subject to approval by the university.

Dr Arnold's Who's Who entry includes a BA from the State University of New York, when it was from the University of the State of New York, which is similar to our Open University but has no academic staff of its own.

It also states he has an MDiv from Philadelphia University, which does not exist, and a DipTheol from Cambridge University, when it was the Cambridge examinations syndicate.

University chiefs are puzzled about the reasons for any discrepancies when they knew he had a Durham PhD, which was enough to secure him the work permit and principal's post.

The Right Rev Michael Henshall, Bishop of Warrington and chairman of the college governors, said: "He has no need to do any garnishing of them at all. The substance and the source of all the allegations that have been listed are being vigorously investigated."

Dr Arnold claims the mistakes were clerical errors. Since his appointment two years ago 13 college council members have left, including the vice principal, secretary, bursar and two chaplains. Another ten college tutors have resigned. Dr Arnold has also received two votes of no confidence from students and one from staff.

The Rev Colin Ryland, who resigned as chaplain from the college last year, said: "There were differences of opinion with Dr Arnold over the technicalities of how we were to conduct the services."

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