DSU’s Statement on the Termination Appeal Process and Last Chance Agreement

By Jyl Hall

Dr. Peterson’s appeal of his Notice of Intent to Terminate his tenure appointment began with a Faculty Review Board hearing. The recommendation for reinstatement with a verbal or written warning from the Faculty Review Board, a recommending body, then went to an independent reviewer for a final decision. President Williams, being a party mentioned in the investigation, elected to recuse himself as the final decision maker to avoid any possible conflicts. President Williams was not involved in the initial determination to terminate Dr. Peterson, nor was he involved in the hearing, the final determination of Dr. Peterson’s employment, or the drafting of the Last Chance Agreement.

The University selected Dr. Elizabeth Hitch, Associate Commissioner for Academic & Student Affairs for the Utah State Board of Regents, as the independent reviewer. Dr. Hitch reviewed the evidence and testimonies presented at the Dixie State Faculty Review Board hearing and, in accordance with Dixie State University policy, made the final determination of reinstatement contingent that certain terms and conditions be included in a Last Chance Agreement. The terms of the Last Chance Agreement are based upon Dr. Hitch’s independent determination that Dr. Peterson’s actions violated DSU policy.