We believe that the University of Oxford’s decision to accept £6 million from the Alexander Mosley Charitable Trust, along with donations from the same trust to St. Peter’s College (£5 million) and Lady Margaret Hall (£260,000) fail to uphold the University’s stated aims of equality and diversity, and represent a failure by the University and colleges to support their Jewish staff and students.
We reiterate the calls we have previously made regarding the ethics of University funding: namely that details of the decisions to accept the Mosley family donation, including composition of the deciding body, be published; and that the University commit to the creation of an open, democratically elected body constituted from across the University community to transparently create and implement ethical fundraising policies.
Oxford UCU Committee stands in solidarity with the Oxford Jewish Society and amplifies their words: “Oxford JSoc and UJS are distressed by the news that Oxford University and some of its constituent colleges have accepted donations from The Alexander Mosley Trust. The Mosley Family name is synonymous with Fascism and Antisemitism in Britain. The University’s decision to dedicate a professorship to this name serves to commemorate and revere the Mosley legacy. Furthermore, the absence of any communication and consultation with Oxford’s Jewish students is inconsiderate and inappropriate. We encourage Oxford University, and the benefiting colleges, to reflect on the impact these donations will have on its Jewish students and the wider student body.”
While named after Alexander Mosley, the Trust was set up by Alexander’s father Max Mosley from the estate of Max’s father, Oswald Mosley. Oswald Mosley was the founder of the British Union of Fascists, an extreme racist and antisemitic political movement. The BUF was banned in 1940 and Mosley interned under wartime defence regulations. The endowment of a Chair of Biophysics in the Mosley name can only be an attempt to launder the family name, funded by a legacy of racism, fascism, and anti-semitism.