Berry College Settles Disputes Over Tennessee Billboards

Monday, October 28, 2013

Berry College has settled its legal dispute with the Tennessee Higher Education Commission (THEC) over its right to advertise in that state. The dispute was over billboards in the Nashville area that showed two Berry students on the campus with the college’s name and the phrase “26,000 Acres of Opportunity.” 

 

THEC had sought to make Berry pay large fees not charged to Tennessee private colleges in order to advertise in Tennessee.

THEC officials had asserted that placing the billboards in Tennessee constituted conducting educational activity in that state. Berry has no campuses in Tennessee and does not offer distance or online education.

 

The settlement provides a waiver of the THEC rules for advertising and solicitation because Berry meets the same standards required of Tennessee colleges.

 

“We are very pleased that the settlement agreement provides exactly the resolution we were looking for, and grateful to the Tennessee Attorney General’s office for working with us in good faith to address our concerns about the Tennessee law and its application,” said Berry President Steve Briggs.   “It is important that high school students and their families have open access to the information they need to make informed college decisions, and that colleges compete on a level playing field in the market.”

 

After being threatened with fines, Berry sued THEC in May, alleging discriminatory treatment that violated the college’s constitutional rights under the Commerce Clause and its rights of commercial free speech. U.S. District Court Judge Harold Murphy of the Northern District of Georgia dismissed Berry’s lawsuit on jurisdictional grounds in June, agreeing with Tennessee that the suit should instead be in federal court in Tennessee.  Before Berry refiled its suit, the parties entered settlement discussions.

 

More than 200 of Berry’s 2,100 undergraduate students come from Tennessee.

 

“Berry has welcomed students from Tennessee for many decades; Tennessee families are attracted to Berry because of our strong academic program, our amazing campus, our affordability, and our student work experience program, which is the nation’s largest,” Mr. Briggs said.

 


Helen DeVos College Of Education Celebrates Student Teachers

The Helen DeVos College of Education at Lee University celebrated the accomplishments of its student teachers with a banquet in the Centenary Room on Lee’s campus. Student teachers, cooperating teachers and supervisors enjoyed the evening sharing the semester’s experiences with each other. Speakers for the evening included Cameryn Byrd, Lauren Suits, Jonathan Berry and Jared ... (click for more)

Lee University Named To President’s Service Honor Roll Once Again

The Corporation for National and Community Service announced that Lee University has been named to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, once again receiving recognition for its commitment to bettering the community through service. “Receiving this honor indicates that our students and faculty are engaging in transformative service with our community ... (click for more)

TVA Sues Cleveland's Allan Jones Over Dock, Retaining Wall, Boat Ramp, Boathouse On Hiwassee River

TVA has sued Cleveland, Tn., Check Into Cash millionaire W. Allan Jones Jr. over the construction of a dock, retaining wall, boat ramp and boathouse on the Hiwassee River. In the lawsuit in Federal Court, TVA said it told Mr. Jones before the construction was finished that he was on TVA property. The complaint says he has refused to move the construction from the river. ... (click for more)

Bobby Dodd Lawsuit Against City Moved To Federal Court

A lawsuit brought by former Chattanooga Police Chief Bobby Dodd against the city of Chattanooga and the Chattanooga Fire and Police Pension Fund over his pension has been moved to Federal Court. The lawsuit was earlier filed in Chancery Court by attorneys Jerry Tidwell and Adam Izell. The suit says former Chief Dodd opted for a plan that would have half of his pension go to ... (click for more)

Please Don't Close The Piccadilly Cafeteria At Hamilton Place - And Response

Oh, no. The Piccadilly Cafeteria at Hamilton Place is closing.  Its last day is Christmas Eve.  I will miss the great food they have there but most of all I will miss their servers, cashiers and waitresses.  They are all so friendly and accommodating.  They make it like it’s a home-style restaurant. I sure wish there was some way that Hamilton Place and ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: 10 Tasks For This Week

In 1993 a 95-year-old man named William Snell created a list called “Life’s Little Instructions.” His list has swirled around in the Internet ever since and it is, indeed, a delightful checklist to keep us focused in the right direction. Curiously, when I read over it this past weekend, it dawned on me that if each of us would try to accomplish just 10 items on Mr. Snell’s list ... (click for more)