News and Commentary

Professor Fired For Gossip Must Sign Gag Order To Get Job Back

Tenured music professor Ken Peterson was fired from Dixie State University (DSU) for telling a colleague that the chair of the theater department and the president of the university allegedly conspired to fire another professor.

The College Fix reports that Peterson’s termination notice claimed he had an “unauthorized conversation” with a colleague that others “overheard,” and that he “slandered” DSU president Richard Williams and theater department chair Mark House by “loudly saying in a public place” that they had “conspired” to fire a professor.

The school then went about firing Peterson. The music professor won his appeal, but in order to actually get his job back, he must sign a “Last Chance Agreement” that forces him to accept responsibility for his “unprofessional” and “inappropriate” behavior, be excluded from “disciplinary, tenure, and promotion committees,” and stay more than 500 feet away from Houser and his family at all times.

The school wrote that it had “lost confidence in Dr. Peterson’s ability [to] act professionally and appropriately, in unsupervised or secluded areas.”

As one might expect, Peterson is “looking into further legal action” against the university for the way it is treating him.