Bryan College can hire replacements for two professors suing to get jobs back

Bryan College can hire replacements for two professors suing to get jobs back

July 16th, 2014 by Staff Report in Local Regional News

The Rudd Auditorium at Bryan College in Dayton, Tenn., is lit by late-afternoon sun in this file photo. Bryan President Stephen Livesay says he went to many sources, including the will of college namesake William Jennings Bryan, to arrive at a statement of belief that has caused controversy among the faculty and students.

Photo by Angela Lewis Foster/Times Free Press.

Bryan College will be allowed to hire replacements for the two professors suing to get their jobs back.

Professors Stephen Barnett and Steven DeGeorge this week withdrew their motion seeking an injunction against the college. Previously, Chancellor Jeffrey Atherton granted a temporary restraining order barring the Dayton school from hiring replacements for the two professors in question.

The 2014-15 contracts of Barnett and DeGeorge were rejected by the college this spring after they renounced in writing new language in the school's statement of belief. In February, Bryan's president and trustees announced a clarification to the college's long-held statement of belief that bars the possibility that evolution played a role in human creation.

Barnett and DeGeorge, both Bryan veterans, filed suit seeking damages and reinstatement after losing their jobs. While the plaintiffs are letting go of the issue over the injunction, attorney Edward Nanney said the lawsuit goes on.

"We're not conceding anything," he said. "We still contend that the clarification is not permitted by Bryan's charter and we're going to fight that vigorously."

The trial is set for May 2015.

Previous news report about the school's change: