The letters sent to Sir Jonathan and Byrne purported to be from a range of different characters, including a colleague, a prospective student, a group of undergraduates, a mother whose daughter died of anorexia and a doctor. One letter even claimed to have been penned by Byrne herself, and included some Shakespearean spellings.
Announcing his departure this week, Sir Jonathan explained he will step down in September as provost but will maintain ties to the College as a senior research fellow.
He said that his priority for the next decade is to return to his scholarly work, adding that the role of Provost has “greatly slowed my academic productivity and diminished my opportunities to teach”.
He went on to say that it has “proved to be a demanding job for both me and my family”, and praised the “unstinting support” of his wife.
“Paula has offered me unstinting support in the role of Provost, co-hosting numerous events for students and alumni, working quietly behind the scenes with donors, staff and others, even as she has raised our three children in the Lodgings, whilst also maintaining her own career as an author and a scholar,” he said.