A music professor who was fired from Dixie State University this year has been offered a chance to return to the school with some stipulations. The professor, Ken Peterson, said agreeing to those terms would mean giving up what he has trained his whole life to do.
Administrators at the St. George school told Ken Peterson his employment was terminated for sharing sensitive information about colleagues and speaking out against university leadership.
That decision, made in March, caused a stir that has reached beyond the Dixie State community. Last month, Utah’s Board of Regents weighed in and recommended that Peterson be rehired. The university told Peterson he could come back, but only if he agreed to certain conditions.
“They absolutely forbid me from ever teaching voice lessons ever again at the university or even advertising for a private studio," Peterson said.
Peterson said he's been coaching students one-on-one for over 40 years and couldn't imagine being confined to general music courses. This “last chance" agreement, as administrators described it, listed 27 other requirements for reinstatement.
Peterson said he saw no way he could agree to those terms. So instead, he published the list on Facebook.
“This last resort of publishing this document is a kiss of death to the career that I have loved for my entire life," Peterson said.
Peterson said no one wants to hire a troublemaker, but he wanted the public to see the terms which he described as "vindictive" and "dehumanizing."
In a statement released this week, University officials said the agreement was a result of a faculty reviewed process.