UT's Dr. Gary Sousa allowed to return to teaching

UT's Dr. Gary Sousa allowed to return to teaching, still on leave as director of bands

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Dr. Gary Sousa Dr. Gary Sousa

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - Suspended University of Tennessee Director of Bands Dr. Gary Sousa will be allowed to return to the classroom according to university officials.

In a letter dated December 19, Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor Susan D. Martin says interviews in connection with Sousa's actions have been completed and the no contact provision issued on October 14 has been lifted.

This means Sousa will be allowed on campus and will be able to function in his normal faculty role next semester.

However, pending receipt and review of a final report, Sousa will remain on administrative leave from his position as director of bands. During this time, Don Ryder will continue to serve as interim director of bands.

UT officials said in October insubordination, misrepresentation of facts and a lack of confidence in Sousa's ability to work constructively and collaboratively with others were the reasons for his suspension.

Sousa encouraged students and alumni to speak out against the Athletics Department over reduced playing time and reductions in travel and budget.

Sousa sent a letter to Cheek on Oct. 1, outlining the problems he saw with the program, including a reduction in the band travel budget and what he called "an ever-increasing fight for performance time during football games against relentless athletic marketing."

In a letter to Sousa, Provost Susan Martin noted, "Competition for resources and conflict between competing interests within the university are normal. Your actions to circumvent the normal methods of conflict resolution are shockingly insubordinate."

Another letter sent by Cheek called Sousa's behavior unprofessional and "disruptive hysteria."

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