Petition asks for Bryan College president's resignation after firing of professor

A student walks through the center of Bryan College's campus towards the Latimer Student Center on August 27, 2014.

Frustration with Bryan College leadership boiled over last week after the firing of a tenured professor, with more than 1,000 people signing since Friday a petition calling for the president to resign.

Since 2014, the campus of the small Christian liberal arts college in Dayton, Tenn., has been plagued with discord, as faculty, students and alumni have been pitted against school President Stephen Livesay.

The firing of Phillip Lestmann on July 19 sparked outrage among the college's alumni community and former faculty, as he was one of the last professors on campus known to question Livesay's leadership. More than 1,650 of the school's alumni from across the country have signed the online petition since Friday.

Lestmann and his supporters believe he was fired for privately voicing concerns about the president. The former professor, who had taught math at Bryan since 1977, said he was sending out prayer requests and updates about the college's leadership to a private group dedicated to the college.