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Piedmont College trustees release Hollingsworth as president
Danny P. Hollingsworth had served as president of Piedmont College in Demorest until his contract was terminated this week by the college's Board of Trustees.

The president of Piedmont College was released by the Board of Trustees on Tuesday, according to a statement from school leaders.

Danny Hollingsworth was in the position for nine months. According to a letter addressed to the college's faculty, staff and students, the "decision was made to bring about an early conclusion to the contract of (Hollingsworth)."

That decision was made in a meeting of the Board of Trustees and Executive Committee, but no reason was given.

David Price, Piedmont director of public relations, said the school is not commenting further on the matter at this time. The school would not comment on the time left on the contract or if the former president will receive severance pay.

Provost James Mellichamp, who will serve as the interim president, said the school is "not going to lose any momentum."

"Our work together will build on past successes and ensure that Piedmont College continues to flourish as one of the finest liberal arts institutions in our corner of the world," Mellichamp wrote in a letter to the college.

No timeline was given as to the hire of a new president.

Attempts to reach both Gus Arrendale III, chairman of the Board of Trustees, and Hollingsworth were unsuccessful.

Hollingsworth took over as president in June 2011. He succeeded W. Ray Cleere, who retired as president after 16 years.

Hollingsworth came to Piedmont from Carson-Newman College in Jefferson City, Tenn.