ETSU president to decide Dr. Champouillon’s fate “with due speed”

Dr. David Champouillon (Source: ETSU)

JOHNSON CITY, TN (WJHL) – East Tennessee State University President Dr. Brian Noland says he will make his decision about Dr. David Champouillon’s future “with due speed.” When questioned following Friday’s Board of Trustees’ meeting, Dr. Noland commented for the first time about ETSU’s efforts to fire the longtime music professor.

“I can assure you I am giving my review full and deliberate care and will make a recommendation to the board after I’ve completed that review,” he said.

Dr. Noland’s comments follow an internal investigation that found the tenured professor sexually harassed two faculty members and behaved inappropriately in front of faculty and students. He said he’s limited about what he can say, since this remains a human resources matter.

“There’s some things that I’m working through and will make a recommendation to the board when it’s appropriate and I’ve completed my due diligence,” Dr. Noland said.

The timing of Dr. Noland’s decision is important, because Dr. Champouillon is suspended with pay. He’s remained on administrative leave since September. The university has already paid him to stay away from campus for six months now, according to ETSU records. His salary, according to university records, is $63,000 a year.

A committee of Dr. Champouillon’s peers unanimously voiced support for ETSU’s efforts to fire the tenured professor earlier this month. The committee found, despite previous warnings, Dr. Champouillon “continued to engage in inappropriate, offensive and harassing behavior directed at his colleagues and students.”

Dr. Champouillon denies the allegations. His attorney previously told us, “We’re going to fight these allegations all the way.”

The termination process is especially lengthy and complex, because Dr. Champouillon is a tenured employee, meaning he’s assured continued employment barring significant problems. The state granted him tenure in 2004, according to documents in his personnel file. However, that decision came after several of Dr. Champouillon’s peers recommended against granting him tenure, in part because of his behavior, according to public records.

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