Education

Piedmont President, Under Attack, to Retire

Piedmont University president James Mellichamp announced that he will retire as soon as his replacement is found, Now Habersham reported.

Mellichamp’s future at Piedmont has been uncertain since Provost Daniel Silber quit two weeks ago. Silber said that planned budget cuts were “morally wrong,” writing, “I refuse to be a party to terminations that are carried out in such an unethical manner. Now that this draconian measure is being implemented, I have no moral choice but to leave the institution.”

Faculty leaders this weekend called for Mellichamp and his husband, Daniel Smith, to be barred from the campus due to allegations of misconduct and bullying. A letter from the Faculty Senate Executive Committee said, “Allowing these two individuals to remain on campus while an investigation of these accusations is conducted creates an untenable, hostile workplace environment for a considerable number of faculty and staff.”

Their protest followed the resignation of Carson Webb, the Harry R. Butman Chair of Religion and Philosophy. When he quit, Webb sent a letter to his colleagues, telling them he could no longer be affiliated with Piedmont due to “underhanded,” “unethical” and even “abusive” behaviors,” Now Habersham reported.

On Monday, the board chair, Gus Arrendale, thanked Mellichamp for his “extraordinary dedication and service to the university for more than four decades.”

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