Belmont President: Sexuality Not Considered In Hiring, Firing - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Belmont President: Sexuality Not Considered In Hiring, Firing

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Lisa Howe Lisa Howe

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - The president of Belmont University has spoken out over the controversial dismissal of a soccer coach who told students she was gay.

"In the ten years that I have been university president, sexual orientation has not been considered in making hiring, promotion, or dismissal decisions," said president Dr. Bob Fisher.

Fisher spoke at a news conference at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday in the campus' Student Life Center. Up until now, Fisher hadn't spoken a word publicly about the controversy.

Fisher said, first and foremost, he has done a poor job communication with the public since the controversy started last Wednesday. He did not take any questions from reporters, and said he would not specifically talk about Lisa Howe's departure since it was a personnel issue.

Last week, Howe resigned after telling her team that her same-sex partner was pregnant. Team members claim she was fired, but Belmont released a statement saying it was a "mutual" decision.

Students have led protests at the university over the past several days. On Wednesday afternoon, close to a hundred protested at a rally.

There is word that the protests will not stop, and that alumni could soon stage a protest.

The Belmont, Hillsboro Neighborhood group is alsocalling on the University to re-hire Lisa Howe.

Mike Curb, the founder of Curb Records and the name behind the Curb Event Center where Lisa Howe worked, said on Tuesday he wanted to see Belmont "act like Christians" and rehire the soccer coach.

Curb released this statement on Wednesday:  "President Fisher has asked me as a member of the Board, now that I've made my statement completely, to hold off making any further statements to give him an opportunity to resolve these issues so that this type of injustice can never happen again."

On Monday, the Faculty Senate passed a resolution in support of gay faculty and students.

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