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Editorials, Reviews, Etc.
PUBLISHER'S NOTICE.-The JOURNAL is published in monthly numbers of Fortyeight pages, at one dollar a year, to be always paid in advance.
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DR. C. S. BRIGGS' RESIGNATION FROM THE CHAIR OF SURGERY IN THE MEDICAL DEPARTMENT
OF THE UNIVERSITY OF NASHVILLE.
A statement on my part is necessary to enable the readers of the JOURNAL and my medical friends throughout the South and West generally, to understand the reasons that have led to my withdrawal from the Medical Faculty of the University of Nashville.
My interests since my entree into professional life have all been centered in the Medical Department of the University of Nashville. My father, the late Prof. W. T. Briggs, devoted the best part of his life to the interests of this school. No man has contributed more to the reputation of this institution. His connection with the college dated back to its beginning. He started with the institution as Demonstrator of Anatomy, and from that position was transferred from time to time to
various chairs, as the exigencies of surroundings demanded, until he finally reached the goal of his aspirations and for years added lustre to the Chair of Surgery, and to the school, by his distinguished services. At his death, the writer, an alumnus in both the Literary and the Medical Departments of the University of Nashville, having taught in this college in various capacities for twenty years, was transferred by the Faculty to this chair, and for three years I have faithfully striven to maintain the reputation won for it by my distinguished predecessor. The classes I have taught can attest as to whether I have succeeded or not in fulfilling my part of the obligation. Certain measures recently introduced in faculty meetings met with opposition on my part, and that of my colleague, Prof. J. S. Cain. The latter promptly tendered, and had accepted, his resignation from the Chair of Practice. I discussed my own resignation with several friends, in every instance but one, fellow-members of the Faculty. What follows is best shown in the appended correspondence:
NASHVILLE, TENN., May 12, 1897.
Prof. C. S. Briggs:
DEAR SIR-I am instructed to call your attention to certain rumors which are being talked about generally to the effect that you intended to resign the position that you hold in the Medical Faculty of the University of Nashville. Faculty wish you to state to them definitely and positively whether such rumors are true or false. The time is near at hand when the announcement for the coming session must be made, hence the Faculty must know your position. They wish to know definitely whether it is your intention to sever your connection with the Medical Department of the University of Nashville or not. An answer to this question, since the rumors mentioned above are in general circulation and you are given as authority for the same, in justice both to yourself and the school, must be made positively, and for reasons stated above at once. I have been thus specific in placing this matter before you in order that there may be no misunderstanding
upon your part. There will be a meeting of the Faculty on Thursday, May 13th, at 8 P.M. (eight o'clock in the evening), at which time they will expect a positive and definite answer from you. Should they not hear from you they will take it for granted that there is some foundation for the rumors, and shall govern their actions accordingly.
W. L. NICHOL, Dean.
NASHVILLE, TENN., May 12, 1897.
Prof. W. L. Nichol, Dean of the Medical Department, University of Nashville: DEAR SIR-In answer to your communication of the 12th ult., signed as Dean of the Medical Faculty of the University of Nashville, I will say that I am not now ready to decide as to whether I will resign my position in your Faculty or not. I was not aware that rumors were in general circulation as to my contemplated resignation, inasmuch as I had mentioned the matter only to four or five friends in private conversation.
Regretting that I am unable to comply with your request at the present time, and assuring you that no delay on my part shall cause you embarrassment in the reorganization of the Faculty, I am, Very respectfully,
C. S. BRIGGS. FACULTY ROOM, COLLEGE BUILDING, NASHVILLE, TENN., May 13, 1897.
Prof. C. S. Briggs:
DEAR SIR-By order of the Faculty, I hereby inform you that at a meeting of the Faculty held in the College building this evening (Thursday, May 13th), at 8 P.M., a resolution was adopted recommending to the Board of Trustees that the Chair of Surgery in the Medical Department be declared "vacant," every member of the Faculty present voting "aye." This action is taken in accordance with section 9 of the contract with the Board of Trustees.
W. L. NICHOL, Dean. This unwarranted and unnecessary action on the part of the Faculty, which may be regarded as a measure equivalent
to expulsion without charges and as intended solely to humiliate a fellow colleague, whose worst sin had been the expression of dissatisfaction with the reigning policy of the school, met with unexpected opposition on the part of the Board of Trustees as shown by a motion unanimously and unconditionally passed to non-concur in the action of the Faculty. The effect of this refusal of the Board of Trustees to ratify the offensive resolution of the Faculty forced that body to recede from its position as indicated by the subjoined correspondence.
NASHVILLE, TENN., May 21, 1897.
MY DEAR SIR-At a meeting of the Trustees of the University of Nashville held this day at 2:30 P. M. a communication was received from the Dean of the Medical Faculty, of which the Secretary was directed to send you a copy, which I herewith enclose.
The Board adjourned to meet to-morrow morning at 10 o'clock. Yours truly,
JNO. M. BASS, Secretary and Treasurer University of Nashville.
DR. C. S. BRIGGS, Nashville, Tenn.
NASHVILLE, TENN., May 21, 1897. To the Honorable Board of Trustees University of Nashville:
DEAR SIRS-I am instructed to inform you of the action of the Medical Faculty held this day. It was unanimously resolved that the action taken by the Faculty on May 13th, relative to Prof. C. S. Briggs and the Chair of Surgery and communicated to your Honorable Board, be and the same is hereby rescinded.
Copy: JNO. M. BASS,
Secretary and Treasurer.
W. L. NICHOL, Dean.
NASHVILLE, TENN., May 21st, 1897. To the Honorable Board of Trustees of the University of Nashville : GENTLEMEN-I hereby tender my resignation as Professor of Surgery in the Medical Department of the University of Nashville.
C. S. BRIGGS.
My resignation as above quoted was presented to the Board of Trustees at its session on the morning of May 22nd, at which meeting, on motion action upon the resignation was deferred to an adjourned meeting set for May 26th. It having been ascertained by a committee of the Board appointed for the purpose that I was decidedly unwilling to serve longer as a member of a faculty whose action towards me partook strongly of the nature of a gratuitous insult, and was calculated apparently to injure me professionally, the Board met Wednesday, May 26th and took action as follows:
BOARD OF TRUSTEES OF THE UNIVERSITY OF NASHVILLE
The Trustees of the University of Nashville held a meeting, Wednesday, May 26th, and accepted the resignation of Dr. Charles S. Briggs and passed the following resolutions:
"Resolved, by the Board of Trustees of the University of Nashville, that
"WHEREAS, greatly to their regret, Dr. Charles S. Briggs has tendered his resignation from the Chair of Surgery in the Medical Department of the University of Nashville, the Board of Trustees desire to express their sincere regret that the institution and public lose in this capacity the valuable services of one so well fitted to adorn and maintain the high standard of a noble profession; and also to express their high appreciation of his personal and professional character, and to acknowledge their obligation for his past eminent services to the university and the public, in the hope that this tribute may be an assurance of continued esteem."
DR. SAMUEL S. BRIGGS has resigned from the Demonstratorship of Anatomy in the Medical Department of the University of Nashville.
In this connection we may announce that Dr. Samuel S. Briggs has been elected Associate Professor of Surgery in the Medical Department of the University of the South at Sewanee, Tenn.