UTAH TECH UNIVERSITY'S STUDENT NEWS SOURCE | May 27, 2024

Fired professor files lawsuit against DSU administrators

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Varlo Davenport, a former Dixie State University theater professor, filed a lawsuit against President Biff Williams and 12 others.   

The complaint was filed Friday and states Davenport seeks “declaratory, compensatory, injunctive, exemplary, nominal relief and attorney fees.” The complaint also cites multiple civil rights violations. 

Others listed as defendants besides Williams include Mark Houser, assistant professor of theater arts, Don Reid, director of campus police and security, Jeffery Jarvis, dean for college of the arts, William Christensen, professor of business management, Dean of Students Del Beatty, Paul Morris, vice president of administrative affairs, Steve Johnson, associate athletic director of media relations, security officer Ron Isaacson, Christina Durham, chair of the board of trustees, and Assistant Utah Attorney General Michael Carter. 

Davenport’s Attorney Aaron Prisbrey did not respond to Dixie Sun News’ requests for comment. 

“I think we have a really, really strong case,” Davenport said. “Just about everything we have alleged, it’s provable.”

Davenport said the primary thing he wants out of this ordeal is to be able to practice his profession. 

“I mean if it’s at [DSU], you know, I invested 15 years there,” Davenport said. “That would be great, but I would like to do my job.”

According to DSU’s official statement, sent from Jyl Hall, director of public relations and publications, “The University nor any employees of the University have been served with a complaint as of yet. The University will respond to any complaint accordingly through the representation of the Utah Attorney General.”

There has been some uproar within the community about how this lawsuit will affect DSU students’ tuition, but Davenport said it’s nothing to worry about because the university has insurance for instances like this.