The week after Brewton-Parker College President Ergun Caner resigned citing the emotional and physical toll of his son’s recent suicide, a vice president said he was fired after refusing to resign.
C.B. Scott, vice president of alumni advancement and church relations at the Baptist school in Mount Vernon, Ga., told Southeast Georgia Today, the web portal for the Vidalia Communications Corporation radio stations, that he turned down a severance package requiring him to sign a non-disclosure statement as a “matter of personal integrity.”
Scott said before Caner resigned he turned down the president’s request to help him “restore his credibility” at the college, alluding to “alleged inappropriate racial remarks” made by Caner that were reported to a trustee but not mentioned when Caner resigned Jan. 20.
Baptist bloggers quoted unnamed sources claiming Caner was asked to resign and accused the board of trustees of trying to mislead the public about the real reason for his departure.
Board Chairman Gary Campbell said at meeting to introduce the school’s newly named interim president to faculty and staff Feb. 2 that trustees had investigated three different reports of racial, vulgar and derogatory comments used by Caner in private conversations and a fourth “allegation of inappropriate behavior” that a Brewton-Parker press release did not describe.
Campbell said evidence was inconclusive in the first three allegations but during questions about the fourth Caner stated he “no longer had the will or energy to fight” and had made the decision to resign. At that point, Campbell said, the trustees discontinued their investigation.
“We did not ask Dr. Caner to resign,” Campbell said. “That was his decision. There has been no attempt by the board of trustees to cover up anything and there were no other claims about which I am aware that were made to the trustees,” Campbell said.
Campbell said the decision to terminate Scott’s contract was his as acting president and it was because of an infraction of business policy about how grievance information is distributed within the chain of command. Campbell then tendered his own resignation from the board both “in the best interest of the school and myself personally.”
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SOURCE: Baptist News Global