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.

 


Bea Lyons Honored At “Tea For Bea”

When Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dr. Kimberly McCormick, established the Faculty Fellows Program during 2014, several well-known and respected educators were named as inaugural fellows. The Social and Behavioral Science Division honored Bea Lyons as its fellow. A special “Tea for Bea” was recently held to serve as a springboard for the first endowed fellowship ... (click for more)

Chattanooga State Kimball Announces Early College Open House

Chattanooga State Community College announces an Early College Open House on Wednesday from 4-6 p.m. CST at the Chattanooga State Kimball Site at 2100 Main St. in Kimball. College representatives will be on site to answer questions, assist with dual enrollment grant applications and process registrations on the spot.  Chattanooga State's Early College Program gives students ... (click for more)

Woman, 25, Dies From Wreck On Barton Avenue

A 25-year-old woman has died from injuries received in a head-on accident on Barton Avenue in North Chattanooga on Saturday. The victim was Stephanie Kilburn . At approximately 2:25 p.m. , the Chattanooga Police Department responded to 800 Barton Ave. on an accident with injuries. V ehicle 1 was traveling southbound on Barton Avenue and failed to stop at a stop ... (click for more)

City Seeking Grant To Improve Signals At 32 Intersections

The city is seeking a $2 million federal grant to go along with $500,000 in city funds for a project to improve signals at 32 intersections. There would also be bike and pedestrian improvements. The routes include Brainerd Road, Lee Highway, Shallowford Road, Gunbarrel Road and Hamilton Place Boulevard. The application is for a Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Grant. (click for more)

Memorial Auditorium Flag Disgrace

How can it be that Memorial Auditorium, which was built to honor soldiers and sailors, displays our country’s flag in such a disgraceful manner?  Out of six poles on the front of the building only two battered flags remain.  Additionally, two old banners are attached to the wall that have long ago faded and look like they’ve seen better days. This is not acceptable ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Buy Ping Golf Clubs

As we set the charcoal, ice the drinks and prepare for Memorial Day, the first thing on my mind is to ask any golfers within my reach to consider buying and playing with Ping-brand golf clubs. Pings are made in America but there is a little something else you need to know, as told in an email I received earlier this week. I regret I do not know the author: * * * “On Monday, ... (click for more)