In my columns, I often write about the swift moral decline within our nation's secular universities. That usually involves writing about corrupt university administrators. But I would be a hypocrite were I to ignore corruption by administrators at Christian colleges and universities. Right now, there is a controversy brewing at Bryan College in Dayton, Tennessee with moral ramifications that are simply too important to ignore.
At the center of the controversy is Bryan's president Dr. Stephen Livesay. His conduct as Bryan's president has been so far outside the realm of normal professional conduct as to nearly defy description. Nonetheless, I will attempt to do so. The following is an in-exhaustive list of offenses - each of which could arguably justify Dr. Livesay's removal.
1. Sanitizing a sex scandal. When a college or university begins to knowingly cover up sex scandals it simply invites more sex scandals. Such was the case at Bryan College just a couple of years ago when a Bryan professor was arrested in a sting operation for allegedly soliciting sex from a minor.
Fortunately, the accused professor resigned. Unfortunately, Bryan College concocted a cover story, which falsely claimed that the professor left to pursue "other opportunities." Being charged with a felony sex crime isn't an "opportunity." It's a lie and a very bad one at that. Arguably, Dr. Livesay should have been terminated for his role in the cover up.
2. Prior restraint of free speech. Fortunately, a brave Bryan College student decided to blow the cover on the aforementioned lie. The student wanted to run the story in the Bryan paper - although he was also employed as a journalist for an off campus paper. But Dr. Livesay quashed the story before it ran citing concerns about its accuracy.
It is notable the student/journalist's story was based on public records. There was never any evidence that the student was off the mark in his reporting of this publicly available information. Obviously, Dr. Livesay's real concern was that it was accurate and exposed the school as having concocted a cover story that was inaccurate.
Furthermore, when the story was about to run, the accused professor was no longer at Bryan College. Additionally, the sting took place off campus. Bryan had no compelling interest in the prior restraint of the student's speech. They should have allowed the story to run. The day Dr. Livesay decided to engage in prior restraint of free and accurate speech was the day Bryan lost its claim to be a serious institution of higher learning.
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