Full Disclosure

News Timeline

Below you will find a timeline of important series of events, starting with the most recent. All news articles are in order of date and duplicate articles are usually omitted. This section of the site is under constant construction. If you know of an article that needs to be added, please send a link to it using our "Contact" page. For a very basic version of the timeline, check out our timeline video.

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August 2018

8/10/18 The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) publishes an article about Ken Peterson's first amendment rights being violated. FIRE is a nation-wide organization. The article is titled "How far will Dixie State go to fire a tenured professor? Ask Ken Peterson." Read their article here.

8/8/18 Dixie State Professor Rejects Reinstatement Terms

8/8/18 Letter to the editor: Dr. Ken Peterson’s “Last Chance Agreement” — Is it even constitutional?

8/8/18 DSU professor calls terms of reinstatement 'punitive, dehumanizing'

8/8/18 Fired Dixie State Professor rejects "dehumanizing" terms for reinstatement

8/7/18 Kate Dalley interviews Ken on her radio show. Listen here.

8/7/18 Same article as below,  but on Fox 13 news: A fired Dixie State University professor says the school’s conditions for his return are ‘vindictive’ — and he’s refusing to sign on

8/7/18 A fired Dixie State University professor says the school’s conditions for his return are ‘vindictive’ — and he’s refusing to sign on

8/7/18 Dr. Ken Peterson responds to DSU's statement on his personal Facebook page. It states the following:

"DSU's official response to the "Last Chance Agreement" is very interesting:

1 - Why the preoccupation (the entire first paragraph) with insulating President Williams?

2 - Which is worse, that the president is secretly behind all this, or that he is oblivious to, or tacitly incapable of addressing the egregious improprieties occurring within his own administration?

3 - Instead of even attempting to hopelessly justify their “Last Chance Agreement,” DSU instead chooses to shift the blame for the document to someone else, which is an admission in and of itself.

4 - Having reviewed my own copy of Dr. Hitch’s decision, I can state for the record that of DSU’s 28 points in their “Last Chance Agreement,” Dr. Hitch mentions only 2 of the milder points of said 28 in her decision letter. No, Dr. Hitch did not even come close to authoring said 'Last Chance Agreement.'"

8/7/18 Dixie State University releases a statement regarding the "Last Chance Agreement." You can read it here on their website. It states the following:

DSU’s Statement on the Termination Appeal Process and Last Chance Agreement

August 7, 2018

Dr. Peterson’s appeal of his Notice of Intent to Terminate his tenure appointment began with a Faculty Review Board hearing. The recommendation for reinstatement with a verbal or written warning from the Faculty Review Board, a recommending body, then went to an independent reviewer for a final decision. President Williams, being a party mentioned in the investigation, elected to recuse himself as the final decision maker to avoid any possible conflicts. President Williams was not involved in the initial determination to terminate Dr. Peterson, nor was he involved in the hearing, the final determination of Dr. Peterson’s employment, or the drafting of the Last Chance Agreement.

The University selected Dr. Elizabeth Hitch, Associate Commissioner for Academic & Student Affairs for the Utah State Board of Regents, as the independent reviewer. Dr. Hitch reviewed the evidence and testimonies presented at the Dixie State Faculty Review Board hearing and, in accordance with Dixie State University policy, made the final determination of reinstatement contingent that certain terms and conditions be included in a Last Chance Agreement. The terms of the Last Chance Agreement are based upon Dr. Hitch’s independent determination that Dr. Peterson’s actions violated DSU policy.

8/6/18 Dixie State University Fails Last Chance at Academic Freedom

8/6/18 Fired DSU professor says signing reinstatement document would be akin to having ‘gun pointed at my head’

8/6/18 Dr. Ken Peterson shares his "Last Chance Agreement" that he refuses to sign and which DSU refused to amend. The document, literally titled "Last Chance Agreement," essentially makes it impossible for Ken Peterson to keep his job without forfeiting his rights, both as an employee and as a citizen of the United States. Read the document here.


July 2018

7/12/18 Dixie State Reinstates Professor Accused of Gossiping

7/10/18 Fired Dixie State University music professor to get job back

7/10/18 Fired Dixie State University music Professor gets his job back

7/10/18 Dr. Ken Peterson is REINSTATED at DSU. His Facebook post says the following: 

"Dear friends,

The matter has been resolved and I will be returning to my teaching position. I don’t have the words to adequately express my gratitude for the outpouring of support I've received from my friends, students, fellow faculty, and the community.

Ken Peterson"

7/10/18 A letter is sent to Commissioner Buhler of the Utah System of Higher Education, asking for Drs. Peterson and Webb be reinstated. Read that letter here.

7/7/18 Glenn Webb's faculty review board recommends he be reinstated to his position at DSU.  In a Facebook post, Glenn includes some text from his letter:

"This is to notify you that the Faculty Review Board ("FRB") has made a Decision regarding your case. This FRB finds that DSU does not have just cause to terminate you and recommends that you be reinstated as a tenured professor of Music at DSU.
The FRB is now in the process of forwarding its recommendation to the representative of the Utah System of Higher Education who will make the final decision in your case."

7/6/18 A letter is released which shows that Dr. Webb and Dr. Peterson advocated for Varlo Davenport to be reinstated. The letter was sent to the state auditor in 2016. The question is asked:  Is there reason to believe the Dixie State Administration sought to silence Dr. Webb & Dr. Peterson for being whistleblowers? Read the letter here.


June 2018

6/21/18 Ken Peterson's faculty review board recommends he be reinstated to his position at DSU.

6/19/18 Former DSU President Lee Caldwell releases a letter:

"As a former President of Dixie State University, I can no longer remain silent about issues of academic freedom and the treatment of tenured faculty members by the current University administration.  DSU has successfully recruited nationally competitive faculty members who then undergo a rigorous tenure review process which considers the quality of their teaching, intellectual contributions and service to the University, profession and community over an extended period of time.

The national norm, as suggested in a joint statement on shared governance jointly formulated in 1966 by the American Association of University Professors (AAUP), the American Council on Education (ACE), and the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges (AGB) states:

“Faculty status and related matters are primarily a faculty responsibility; this area includes appointments, reappointments, decisions not to reappoint, promotions, the granting of tenure, and dismissal.”

It appears that university attorneys and administrators have usurped this primary faculty responsibility in decisions related to the dismissal of tenured faculty members.  The Statement on Procedural Standards in Faculty Dismissal Proceedings prepared by a joint committee representing the Association of American Colleges (now the Association of American Colleges and Universities) and the American Association of University Professors and approved by these two associations at their annual meetings in 1958 further clarifies that investigations into faculty conduct should be initially conducted by the faculty and not university attorneys or administrators.

These procedures are designed to protect core principles of academic freedom.  They also prevent university administrations from embarrassment by using faculty members who are familiar with pedagogical practices and dialog in a particular discipline to conduct the initial reviews.  I should also note that academic freedom not only covers teaching and research but also dialogue concerning the governance of the institution. At every university I am familiar with, criticism of university administration seems to be among the most popular activities.

Now that we are in 2018, it is well past time for DSU to modernize its policies to reflect national norms articulated well more than 50 years ago.  The reported process faced by Drs. Petersen and Webb is so lacking in principles of fundamental fairness that it shocks to conscience of anyone involved in higher education for any period of time.  Their dismissal has been widely nationally reported and could easily attract the attention of AAUP committees. Censure by one or more of these committees would reflect poorly on DSU and on the entire Utah System of Higher Education.  It would also significantly impair DSU’s ability attract and retain high quality faculty members."

References

Statement on Government of Colleges and Universities

This statement was jointly formulated by the American Association of University Professors, the American Council on Education (ACE), and the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges (AGB).

https://www.aaup.org/report/statement-procedural-standards-faculty-dismissal-proceedings

Statement on Procedural Standards in Faculty Dismissal Proceedings

The following statement was prepared by a joint committee representing the Association of American Colleges (now the Association of American Colleges and Universities) and the American Association of University Professors and was approved by these two associations at their annual meetings in 1958.

https://www.aaup.org/report/statement-procedural-standards-faculty-dismissal-proceedings

 

6/15/18 Fired Professors say DSU violated policy during review board hearings 

It should be noted that DSU policy seems to contradict several statements made by Doajo Hicks in this article:

"Policy 371 4.4.13 Review Board deliberations and voting shall take place in closed session. The Review panel shall decide by majority vote. The Review Board chair shall report in writing the Review Board's findings, decision, and recommendations to the President within twenty (20) business days after the conclusion of the meeting."

"According to policy, the faculty review board must make its determination within 20 business days of the closure of the hearing.

At the end of my hearing, it was announced that the 20 days hadn’t started," Webb said. 

The review will be considered "closed" today, two weeks following Webb's hearing.

Hicks said in an email that the faculty review committee determines when the hearings are closed, and the hearings are not restricted to a specific time frame; however, there is a specific 20-day response time after the hearings are closed.

"The committee is free to keep the hearing open until they receive all of the evidence they deem necessary to render an informed recommendation," Hicks wrote."

"Policy 371 4.4.5 The Review Board may consider any information which the panel believes is of value or import in determining the issues involved. Every possible effort will be made to obtain the most reliable information available. The Review Board panel shall make its findings and recommendations based only on the information presented by the parties at the reviews."

By keeping the hearings "open" two weeks following the actual meetings where Glenn Webb and Ken Peterson were able to defend themselves, any information exchanged between DSU and the review board would violate this policy. If no new information has been exchanged, why was the 20-day response time not started immediately after the hearings?



April 2018

4/23/18 Greg Walker writes an open letter addressing the issues at DSU:

To: Representative V. Lowry Snow, Senator Don L. Ipson, and Mayor Jon Pike

I am a constituent and a member of the St. George community. I have a son that earned an Associate’s Degree from Dixie State University (“DSU”) through the Success Academy program. For a few semesters I was an adjunct professor of Business Law. My wife’s aunt was an English Professor at DSU and her uncle was the registrar for many years. As a member of the community with ties to DSU, I am very concerned with the manner in which the administration has handled the termination of several professors in the last two years. I am troubled by the negative impact on the education and well-being of current and future students and faculty members, many of whom are placed in a position of teaching and learning in an atmosphere of fear, uncertainty and confusion. 
Although I have had positive interactions with a couple of these professors, what I have learned about this situation has come almost exclusively from reviewing publicly available court pleadings, personally witnessing a significant portion of Varlo Davenport’s assault trial and reading published accounts in media.

As all of you are elected officials and have supervisory authority over DSU, either as a member of the Board of Trustees or as members of the Utah Legislature, I wish to state my understanding of the relevant events and ask that you consider further investigation and corrective action. 
In terminating Varlo Davenport, Glen Webb and Ken Peterson, I believe the administration has engaged in a pattern of seizing on one piece of information, failing to verify the accuracy or the context and then making career ending decisions based on false information and inaccurate judgments. This pattern is perhaps best illustrated by DSU’s release of an official statement shortly after Varlo Davenport’s acquittal on charges of assault.

Dixie State University’s Official Statement after Assault Trial

Former professor Varlo Davenport was tried for assault by the City of St. George in connection with an incident that occurred during a theater class at DSU. Shortly after Mr. Davenport’s acquittal on the charge of assault, someone associated with the university released an official statement to the press. 
The following link contains the official statement: [I’ve moved the link to a comment below because some people attempting to share this post end up accidentally sharing the official statement].

The official statement refers to testimony that was never given and attributed to a witness that did not even testify. The lack of fact checking was unprofessional and an embarrassment to the university.

No relative of Varlo Davenport testified at the criminal trial. There was a relative that appeared on the list of potential witnesses. But that individual was never called to the witness stand. Whoever wrote Dixie State’s official press release took one piece of information (the list of potential witnesses), made an incorrect assumption and failed to verify the accuracy of the assumption. This individual then made a decision to act on the incorrect understanding of facts by making an official statement that is demonstrably false.

The official statement includes the following language: “DSU will always uphold policies and procedures that protect its students, faculty and staff.” Near the conclusion of the press release a libelous and unsubstantiated accusation of perjury was made against several students in direct contravention of the stated policy of protecting students.

Disagreement between Faculty Members

According to court pleadings from both Varlo Davenport and DSU and a recent article in “Inside Higher Ed,” a member of DSU’s faculty had differences of opinion with Varlo Davenport concerning the content of plays performed at the university. (https://www.insidehighered.com/…/tenure-votes-are-usually-p…). Rather than handling differences of opinion in a civil manner, this member of the faculty found a way to weaponize the administration against a colleague.

This faculty member originally took issue with the allegedly dark nature of plays chosen by Mr. Davenport. He was troubled by feeling that his beliefs as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of latter-day Saints came in conflict with Mr. Davenport’s selection of plays. It is important to point out that Mr. Davenport is also a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of latter-day Saints.

On the list of allegedly inappropriate plays was Robert Louis Stevenson’s “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.” While it is true that Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde explores the main character’s battle in choosing between light and darkness, it is absurd to believe the play is inappropriate subject matter for a university theater program. 
It should be noted that former LDS Church First Presidency Member James E. Faust made the story of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde a major theme of his remarks titled “The Enemy Within” which he presented in the Priesthood Session of General Conference in October of 2000. (https://www.lds.org/general-conferen…/…/10/the-enemy-within…).

Incident with Student

In 2014, an incident took place in class between Professor Davenport and one of his students which was seized upon by the faculty member who had a difference of opinion with Davenport. Davenport used a teaching technique which is common in university theater programs and which involved holding the student’s shoulders and flipping her hair in front of her face.

The other faculty member heard about the incident and took it upon himself to get a complaint filed against Davenport. At this point, the DSU Administration appears to have begun their pattern of jumping to conclusions without regard for the truth.

Mr. Davenport was initially suspended and then fired. As a tenured professor, he exercised his right to appeal his termination to a faculty review board. The faculty review board conducted a hearing, heard from witnesses and reviewed evidence. At the conclusion of the hearing, the faculty review board voted unanimously to reinstate Mr. Davenport’s employment. At a later date, the faculty senate reviewed evidence and came to the same conclusion as the faculty review board.

President Biff Williams never spoke to Mr. Davenport once, nor did he attempt to find out what Davenport had to say about the situation. As I understand it, President Williams did not review any of the evidence or testimony presented at the faculty review board or faculty senate hearing before deciding to override those decisions. President Williams’ actions do not appear to match the University’s recent statement that “such decisions are deeply difficult, meticulously investigated and carefully weighed.”

Members of DSU’s Administration then took the matter to the Washington County Attorney’s Office and requested Mr. Davenport be charged with child abuse. When the Washington County Attorney declined to prosecute, they made similar efforts with St. George’s City Attorney. I find the Administration’s involvement in dealing with prosecuting authorities to be highly questionable at best.

What led the faculty review board and faculty senate to vote for reinstatement?

Assault Trial

It wasn’t until months after the events took place and Mr. Davenport had been terminated, that Dixie State University began an investigation conducted by Campus Chief of Police Don Reid. At trial Mr. Reid admitted under oath that the investigation he had conducted was biased. As an attorney and a live observer to that testimony, I was stunned. The city prosecutor did nothing to ask Mr. Reid to clarify his answer. He did nothing to attempt to rehabilitate Mr. Reid’s testimony. The tactic of not asking clarifying questions is something typically done in litigation to minimize negative facts. The city prosecutor was likely aware the defense attorney had solid evidence of an egregious and unfair investigation.

One of the defense witnesses at trial was Fred Adams. Fred Adams, of course, has won a Tony Award for theater and is the founder of the Utah Shakespeare Festival. Mr. Adams testified about a theater teaching technique called “Resistance Training.” Resistance training involves a teacher doing things like holding a student’s shoulders while they attempt to stand up from a seated position, flipping hair in their face and generally being a minor irritant in an attempt to evoke emotion and improve a flat performance. Fred Adams testified that this technique is appropriate and it is in use in university theater programs all around the country.

Aside from the alleged victim, I believe every witness testified that Mr. Davenport participated in a resistance training exercise as outlined in the previous paragraph. Each witness testified that Mr. Davenport advised the student that all she had to do was ask to stop and he would stop. Prior to leaving class that day, the student showed no signs of wanting the exercise to stop.

I am told that another irregularity at trial involved counsel for Dixie State sitting at the prosecutor’s table for part of the trial. Dixie State obviously cannot be a party to a St. George City criminal trial. Had Mr. Davenport been convicted, I believe that alone could have been sufficient grounds for a successful appeal of the conviction because of the message it sent to the jury. What is more, I believe, counsel for Dixie State was not licensed to practice law in the State of Utah at the time. An unlicensed attorney sitting at counsel table constitutes practicing law without a license.

Civil Wrongful Termination Trial

Given the information above, it is not surprising that Mr. Davenport filed a civil suit for wrongful termination. Despite attempts to have the case dismissed, it continues to move forward. The Utah Attorney General’s office is providing the defense, as I understand it, in part by hiring outside legal counsel. All at taxpayer expense. Is anyone in the legislature overseeing that?

Recent Firings of Glen Webb and Ken Peterson

Recently, both Glen Webb and Ken Peterson were also fired by DSU. Both of these Professors have given generously of their time in order to provide quality music and educational opportunities to students and the community as a whole. Their firings leave a hole in the music department, to the detriment of DSU. It is unlikely that the university will be able to find replacements of equivalent ability, competence and experience. That is a loss to the remaining faculty and students. The article from Inside Higher Ed mentions a group of current faculty that “described an atmosphere of fear and intimidation on campus.”

Both of these terminations also resulted from incidents involving the same faculty member who originally objected to “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.” Glen Webb participated in the faculty review board that originally exonerated Varlo Davenport. Ken Peterson was supportive of Davenport and his wife testified in Davenport’s behalf at the assault trial. None of the three professors were afforded anything resembling the legally required due process prior to being terminated. Nor were they given fair opportunity to respond to allegations leveled against them.

One has to wonder if the wrong people are being removed from employment at Dixie State University. I have serious doubts the current administration is leading DSU in a direction that will enhance the educational opportunities of its students. To paraphrase Shakespeare’s Hamlet, something is rotten at Dixie State.

Both Glen Webb and Ken Peterson should have their employment reinstated by an upcoming faculty review board. And President Williams should honor those reinstatements. Additionally, I ask you to obtain a copy of the internal DSU emails turned over to Varlo Davenport’s defense attorney and that you review them in order to determine whether disciplinary action should be taken against the administration.

Thank you for your time and attention to these matters.

Sincerely,
Greg Walker

4/22/18 Pulling the metaphorical fire alarm at Dixie State University until someone realizes there’s a fire

4/15/18 In the last four years, four tenured professors at Dixie State University have been terminated or placed on administrative leave


Video of "The Pillars" concert honoring Drs. Glenn Webb and Ken Peterson can be seen below:

The Pillars: A Concert Honoring Dr. Ken Peterson and Dr. Glenn Webb took place on March 26, 2018. This concert featured community members, current students, and alumni of Dixie State University in St. George, Utah who have been taught by Dr. Glenn Webb and Dr. Ken Peterson.

The Community Retaliates

This is how the community is responding:

3/30/18 Academe Blog: Dixie State University's attack on free speech and due process

3/27/18 Students honor fired Professors through music

3/27/18 Concert honors terminated professors, brings entertainment, community together

3/24/18 St. George Truth Website

3/23/18 Students find error in University statement after two DSU faculty fired

3/20/18 Letters to the Editor

3/20/18 Students find error in university statement after two DSU faculty fired

3/13/18 Dixie State University is terminating professors under questionable circumstances

3/12/18 Kate Dalley Radio show Ken Peterson

3/11/18 Poll: As a DSU student, staff, or alumnus or St. George resident, are you embarrassed by the administration’s recent behavior?

3/11/18 Dixie State University is firing people, again — a suggestion on how to respond

3/10/18 Dr. Ken Peterson releases his official statement regarding his termination on Facebook. It reads as follows: 

"What follows is my official response to my termination from DSU on March 2, 2018. Feel free to share and accurately cite as you will.

In November of 2014, my wife and I became inextricably involved in the events surrounding the termination of Varlo Davenport. We did not seek this involvement, but through circumstance, we found ourselves at the very center of the controversy due to the fact that my wife was a student in the class wherein an assault allegedly occurred (Mr. Davenport was fully acquitted of all charges in both a faculty review hearing and in civil court), and due to the fact that I had been a colleague and a regular collaborator with Mr. Davenport for the preceding 11 years, and knew his work and conduct better than anyone.

In point of fact, my wife and I were first hand factual witnesses regarding Mr Davenport’s overall character, his alleged behavior in the class mentioned, and of his work in general at DSU. Given our uniquely indisputable and undeniable knowledge of Mr. Davenport’s complete and utter innocence, and of the subsequent actions taken against him despite said innocence, our integrity and common decency demanded that we speak the truth of these matters to any and all who asked, which we have done for the past three years informally as well as in the hearing and civil trial already mentioned. My wife provided the most detailed recollection of the events in question which was key testimony in the acquittal of Varlo Davenport in both the faculty hearing and in the civil trial.

Subsequently, Varlo Davenport has filed a law suit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Utah in which he has claimed that various persons who are in the university administration at high levels and on the Board of Trustees of the University have conspired to deprive him of his civil rights in violation of Title 42, Section 1983, of the United States Code commonly known as the Civil Rights Act of 1871.

At the beginning of spring semester 2018, DSU email accounts were searched, and faculty were investigated and subsequently interrogated by a recently hired assistant university counsel, and my termination letter was the result.

As you read my “Notice of Dismissal and Termination of Appointment”, keep the following 3 points in mind:

1 - Even if taken at face value, none of the accusations constitute grounds for termination according to DSU’s own policy:

“4.1 Dismissal for cause may be imposed on a faculty member in the following circumstances: 
4.1.1 Professional incompetence ...
4.1.2 Unwillingness or refusal to meet his/her responsibilities to the University. 
4.1.3 Serious misconduct or unethical behavior. 
4.1.4 Serious violation of University rules and regulations.” (DSU Policy 4.1)

Although the “Notice of Dismissal and Termination of Appointment” document lists 3 of the 4 causes, their supporting evidence is unrelated to any of the 3 causes listed.

As noted by the Inside Higher Ed article of March 3, 2018, accusations such as these are not considered grounds for termination :

“...tenured faculty terminations remain rare and typically follow reports of serious misconduct...
Even in scare quotes, ‘crimes’ is probably too strong a word for the main claims against Glenn Webb, chair of music, and Ken Peterson, director of vocal activities: not liking a colleague and then discussing the vote on that colleague's tenure bid.
...even the most discreet colleagues would probably question whether telling a family member about a tenure vote is a meaningful breach of privacy -- let alone a terminable offense.
The American Association of University Professors doesn't define what is and is not a fireable offense and maintains that faculty peers should make such decisions. It opposes the use of collegiality in personnel decisions, on the grounds that it's a murky concept that can be used to punish professors for political reasons.” 
https://www.insidehighered.com/…/tenure-votes-are-usually-p…

In fact, these accusations do not even justify omitting the preliminary disciplinary process which is only allowed under extreme circumstances:

“6.1 An employee may be recommended for dismissal according to the above procedure or for serious misconduct, without the above preceding Fist and Second Level Corrective Discussions, including, but not limited to the following job-related reasons...: 
6.1.1 Fraud, including falsification on employment application. 
6.1.2 Misuse of University property or funds. 
6.1.3 Violation of statutory requirements of institutional regulations and policies, such as regulations related to discrimination or harassment. 
6.1.4 Conviction of a crime by a court of competent jurisdiction. 
6.1.5 Lewd, threatening, abusive or violent treatment of the public, students, or other employees.” (DSU Policy 6.1)


2 - Every one of the accusations are based entirely on hearsay of supposed witnesses who remain unknown to me. Why? That I do not know my accusers is also contrary to policy:

“The Procedures for dismissal for case of a tenured or tenure-track faculty member shall comply with minimal due process requirements as noted in 3.8.1-3.8.4 below. Institutional polices shall provide procedures of dismissal for cause which may be more but not less protective of due process rights than those set forth below...

3.8.1.2. Notice of the names of those persons making the charges and the nature of the factual
evidence;” (Utah System of Higher Education policy 4.3.8)

“Any such [dismissal] notice shall contain a statement of the cause(s) of the proposed dismissal with supporting detail, including the name(s) of the person or persons making the charge(s) ...” (DSU policy 4.2.4)

3 - It’s not slander if it’s true.

Ken Peterson"

3/8/18 Students, Alumni Demand Answers

It should be noted that in the video, it states that DSU has covered the classes. This statement is disputed in the written article by current students, who say most of their affected classes have been cancelled "until further notice."

3/8/18 Is Gossip Grounds for Termination? In this article it is said that Dr. Peterson "did not respond to a request for comment." According to Dr. Peterson, this is incorrect. Peterson posted on his Facebook page to say he was never reached out to for comment and would happily give his version of events.

3/7/18 Dixie Student Newspaper Funding in Question

3/7/18 Petition to Reinstate Terminated Dixie State University Professors Circulating Online

3/6/18 Terminated: DSU community members show support for fired music faculty, seek answers from administration

Here is how Dixie State University has responded:

3/6/18 DSU Statement It should be noted that the statement below is the original statement posted on March 6th. The link to DSU's statement goes to their current version of the statement, which was amended on March 12th, changing the sentence "The University has secured faculty to take over the workload of these professors for the remainder of the semester," to "The University is working on securing faculty to take over the workload of these professors for the remainder of the semester." This is a direct result of current students proving that not all of their affected courses had been covered. 

DSU Statement on Personnel Policy

March 6, 2018

In light of the recent terminations of two tenured Dixie State University professors, the University wants the campus and community to understand that such decisions are deeply difficult, meticulously investigated, and carefully weighed. DSU fully understands that our employees are our greatest asset and makes every effort to support, invest in, and advocate for our faculty and staff. To protect our employees and students and maintain the integrity of our institution, DSU follows policies and laws placed upon us by federal, state, and local governments, the Utah System of Higher Education, the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, and the University itself.

Dixie State University takes all personnel matters seriously. When concerns are made, thorough investigations are conducted with multiple checks and balances in place. If policy is found to be violated, the employee is subject to disciplinary action as outlined in DSU Policy 372: Corrective and Disciplinary Action. Appeals of certain disciplinary actions are also outlined within University Policies 372: Corrective and Disciplinary Action, 151: Staff Grievances, and 371: Faculty Termination.

Per policy, vice presidents issue terminations, and President Williams is not involved in the initial investigation, decision-making process, or termination in order to stay impartial for any potential appeal process. Accordingly, each of the involved parties will have the opportunity for due process and to appeal these decisions to ensure a fair and balanced decision.

To protect the privacy of faculty and staff, the University cannot disclose personnel information, the nature of a dismissal, complaints, investigation evidence, or witness affidavits in accordance with DSU policy and the Utah Government Records Access and Management Act (GRAMA). Because DSU is bound by GRAMA, the information the University uses to make these complex employment decisions is not made public, often resulting in one-sided reports. Also in accordance with GRAMA, termination letters are a summary of findings from the investigation, and cannot include the protected, confidential evidence discovered during the investigation. All University employees are bound by all university policies. Any failure by faculty, staff, or administration to abide by the law opens the University to liabilities.

The University understands that when professors are terminated, it can be a difficult time for those who were taught, mentored, and influenced by these individuals. Policy violations do not erase professors’ legacies and all of the good that has been achieved over the years. The University has secured faculty to take over the workload of these professors for the remainder of the semester. Dixie State will continue to support students, faculty, and staff and abide by DSU, state, and federal policies and procedures to ensure a fair and safe environment for all.


Dr. Glenn Webb and Dr. Ken Peterson are Terminated

The links below contain news regarding the termination of Dr. Glenn Webb and Dr. Ken Peterson. They were both tenured professors of 10+ years at Dixie State University, and are both widely known and loved in the community. They were terminated on March 2nd, 2018.

3/5/18 Students: Firing of Two Dixie State University professors will have 'drastic' effect on education

3/5/18 Kate Dalley and Dallas Hyland 3/5

3/5/18 Dixie State Terminates Two Professors

3/2/18 DSU fires faculty members Glenn Webb, Ken Peterson

3/2/18 Two music department faculty terminated

3/2/18 Firing of 2 Dixie State University professors will have ‘drastic’ effect on education, students say

3/2/18 Firing of 2 Dixie State University professors will have ‘drastic’ effect on education, students say

Dr. Ken Peterson published his termination letter in full. Read it here: 

3/4/18 Ken Peterson Facebook post of Termination Letter 

Ken Peterson PDF of Termination Letter


Dr. Glenn Webb and Professor Dennis Wignall are Put on Leave

The articles linked below are news regarding Dr. Glenn Webb and Professor Dennis Wignall being put on administrative leave. 

2/16/18 Students Come Forward

 

 


2017 Articles

11/19/17 DSU Retention http://www.dixiesunnews.com/news/articles/2017/11/19/student-retention-rates-fall-short-national-averag/

10/14/17 Varlo Jekyll and Hyde http://brianpassey.com/theater-review-jekyll-hyde-at-the-stage-door/

10/3/17 Varlo Jekyl and Hyde https://www.thespectrum.com/story/entertainment/2017/10/03/stage-door-jekyll-hyde/725897001/

9/26/17 Varlo/Jekyl and Hyde https://www.stgeorgeutah.com/news/archive/2017/09/26/hsr-davenport-stage-door-bring-jekyll-hyde-back-to-southern-utah/#.Wp3y0pPwYlU

7/16/17 Varlo http://concernedfordixie.blogspot.com/2016/07/response-to-official-statement-from.html

7/4/17 Police Chief Reid https://www.thespectrum.com/story/news/local/2017/07/04/dixie-state-honors-retiring-police-chief-reid/449036001/

6/4/17 Title IX Student http://suindependent.com/victoria-williard-title-ix-sexual-harassment-dsu-dixie-state-university/

3/26/17 DSU/Houser http://suindependent.com/dixie-state-university-11th-amendment-immunity/

1/12/17 Varlo https://www.pressreader.com/usa/usa-today-us-edition/20170112/281878708064074

1/10/17 Varlo http://www.dixiesunnews.com/news/articles/2017/01/10/fired-professor-files-lawsuit-against-dsu-administ/

1/10/17 Varlo https://www.insurancejournal.com/news/west/2017/01/10/438496.htm

1/10/17 Varlo (duplicate) https://www.onenewspage.com/video/20170110/6494290/Former-DSU-Professor-Sues-School-For-22-Million.htm

1/9/17 Varlo http://www.good4utah.com/news/local-news/former-dsu-professor-sues-school-for-22-million/637823950

1/9/17 Varlo http://archive.sltrib.com/article.php?id=4798983&itype=CMSID

1/9/17 Varlo http://diverseeducation.com/article/90929/

1/9/17 Varlo (Duplicate) https://www.deseretnews.com/article/865670722/Former-Dixie-State-theater-professor-sues-over-firing.html

1/9/17 Varlo (Duplicate) https://www.ksl.com/?sid=42816451&nid=148

1/9/17 Varlo (Duplicate) http://magicvalley.com/ex-dixie-state-professor-sues-over-firing/article_ac98577d-1c18-5cb2-931d-fadc8a94c70b.html

1/8/17 Varlo http://suindependent.com/varlo-davenport-dixie-state-university-lawsuit/

1/7/17 Varlo https://www.thespectrum.com/story/news/2017/01/07/ex-dsu-professor-sues-over-firing-criminal-case/96296890/

1/6/17 Court Filing for Varlo Suit https://www.scribd.com/document/335956722/Varlo-Davenport-v-Richard-Biff-Williams-Mark-Houser-Don-Reid-Jeffrey-Jarvis-William-Christensen-Del-Beatty-Paul-Morris-Steve-Johnson-Ron-Is

1/6/17 Varlo http://www.stgeorgeutah.com/news/archive/2017/01/06/jla-davenport-files-20-million-civil-rights-lawsuit-against-dixie-state-president-others/#.Wp34nJPwYlU

 


2016 Articles

12/20/16 Varlo https://www.attorneystgeorge.com/single-post/St-George-Legal-News-for-January-2017

11/4/16 Biffs new stadium https://www.thespectrum.com/story/news/2016/11/04/dixie-state-plans-new-stadium-bleachers-advance/93296736/

9/21/16 Biffs new stadium https://www.thespectrum.com/story/news/2016/09/21/dsu-set-launch-stadium-project-amid-campus-upgrade/90811982/

9/6/16 Varlo http://suindependent.com/dsu-faculty/

8/26/16 Title IX student/Varlo  http://suindependent.com/dsu-student-varlo-davenport-title-ix/

7/28/16 Jacob Aganos https://www.thespectrum.com/story/news/2016/07/28/dixie-state-student-athletes-upset-after-conflicting-reports-strength-coachs-resignation/87689140/

7/17/16 Varlo http://suindependent.com/dixie-state-university-is-trying-varlo-davenport-yet-again/

7/17/16 Varlo/DSU statements http://suindependent.com/dixie-state-university-varlo-davenport-biff-williams/

7/15/16 Varlo http://www.cedarcityutah.com/news/archive/2016/07/15/jla-jury-finds-varlo-davenport-not-guilty/

7/14/16 varlo https://www.thespectrum.com/story/news/local/2016/07/14/jury-deliberating-varlo-davenport-trial/87110012/

7/14/16 Varlo/DSU statement https://news.dixie.edu/2016/07/14/dixie-state-universitys-official-statement-regarding-the-city-of-st-george-vs-varlo-davenport-trial/

7/13/16 Varlo https://www.stgeorgeutah.com/news/archive/2016/07/13/jla-davenport-trial-day-1/#.Wp3xHZPwYlU

7/12/16 Varlo https://www.shreveporttimes.com/story/news/2016/07/12/judge-pro-varlo-rally-must-not-interfere-potential-jurors/86983460/

7/9/16 Varlo https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2016/07/09/injustice-dixie-state/86907278/

7/2/16 Varlo http://suindependent.com/dixie-state-university-federal-investigation/

6/10/16 Varlo http://www.stgeorgeutah.com/news/archive/2016/06/10/jla-davenport-case-judge-orders-dsu-to-turn-over-emails/#.Wp3xm5PwYlU

6/2/16 Enrollment/retention https://www.thespectrum.com/story/news/2016/06/02/dsu-projecting-fall-enrollment-shortfall/85303412/

5/23/16 Biff/Varlo https://www.thespectrum.com/story/news/2016/05/23/hearing-motion-hold-dsu-president-contempt-postponed/84818444/

5/23/16 Biff (Varlo) https://www.thenewsstar.com/story/news/2016/05/23/hearing-motion-hold-dsu-president-contempt-postponed/84818444/

5/13/16 Varlo https://knpr.org/npr-tags/varlo-davenport

4/13/16 Judge Reid/Varlo https://www.stgeorgeutah.com/news/archive/2016/04/13/jla-davenport-case-judge-read-recuses-himself/#.Wp3ynJPwYlU

4/6/16 Varlo https://www.stgeorgeutah.com/news/archive/2016/04/06/jla-davenport-motion-to-disqualify-judge-stalls-case-attorney-cites-illegal-meeting/#.Wp3yPJPwYlU

3/4/16 Biffs construction plans (stadium) http://www.dixiesunnews.com/news/articles/2016/03/04/dsu-officials-seeking-millions-dollars-upcoming-co/

3/4/16 Biff/Varlo https://www.stgeorgeutah.com/news/archive/2016/03/04/jla-davenport-case-motion-asks-for-dsu-president-richard-biff-williams-be-held-in-contempt-jailed/#.Wp3xcpPwYlU

2/14/16 Varlo https://www.stgeorgeutah.com/news/archive/2016/02/14/jla-trial-approaches-for-dixie-state-professor-fired-for-acting-exercise/#.Wp3xCJPwYlU

1/7/2016 Varlo http://www.reno.com/story/opinion/2016/01/07/advice-dixie-state/78438540/