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A Provost Quits to Protest Budget Cuts

June 8, 2022

Daniel Silber has resigned as provost of Piedmont University to protest coming budget cuts, Now Habersham reported. The resignation is effective immediately.

Silber sent email to colleagues on campus about budget cuts that have yet to be announced. In February, Piedmont cut 8 percent of its staff. The college is located in Demorest, Ga.

“These cuts will take place less than two months prior to the start of the next contract year. I am sure many of you will agree that such a decision is morally wrong because it does not provide faculty members anywhere close to a reasonable time frame to obtain employment elsewhere,” Silber said in his email. “My hope is that there will be a last-minute change to change course, but, regardless. Piedmont University is in for some very tough times.”

He confirmed that he is resigning, telling Now Habersham, “Despite my disagreement about this particular budget decision, Piedmont remains a wonderful institution, and I will always wish its students, faculty, and staff the very best.”

Silber’s resignation comes almost a month after the university’s Faculty Senate approved a no-confidence vote against Piedmont president James Mellichamp. The Board of Trustees, led by Chair Gus Arrendale, backed Mellichamp.

Arrendale indicated at the time that the institution was on sound financial footing. “Student deposits for fall 2022 are up nearly 15 percent over this time last year, at a time when college enrollment nationally is declining. Housing deposits are also up year over year,” he said.

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Scott Jaschik

Scott Jaschik, Editor, is one of the three founders of Inside Higher Ed. With Doug Lederman, he leads the editorial operations of Inside Higher Ed, overseeing news content, opinion pieces, career advice, blogs and other features. Scott is a leading voice on higher education issues, quoted regularly in publications nationwide, and publishing articles on colleges in publications such as The New York Times, The Boston Globe, The Washington Post, Salon, and elsewhere. He has been a judge or screener for the National Magazine Awards, the Online Journalism Awards, the Folio Editorial Excellence Awards, and the Education Writers Association Awards. Scott served as a mentor in the community college fellowship program of the Hechinger Institute on Education and the Media, of Teachers College, Columbia University. He is a member of the board of the Education Writers Association. From 1999-2003, Scott was editor of The Chronicle of Higher Education. Scott grew up in Rochester, N.Y., and graduated from Cornell University in 1985. He lives in Washington.

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