Paul L. Caron

Thursday, May 25, 2023

Tenured Law Professor Pulled From His Classroom Faces Termination. He Wants To Know Why?

Following up on my previous post, WSJ Op-Ed: DEI Brings Kafka To My Law School:, Ohio Northern U Is Seeking the Dismissal of a Tenured Law Professor. He Alleges It's Because of His Views on DEI.:

GerberScott Gerber, a law professor at the Ohio Northern University Pettit College of Law, was pulled from his classroom last month, banned from campus and allegedly forced to sign a separation agreement—and he says he doesn’t know why. Now the school is seeking his dismissal.

“Ohio Northern University is trying to banish me for lack of ‘collegiality’ but won’t say what I’ve done,” Gerber wrote in an op-ed published on May 9 in the Wall Street Journal.

Gerber, who has taught at ONU Law since 2001, said he suspects the school’s investigation into him is related to his public opinions regarding the school’s diversity, equity and inclusion policies, he said in the op-ed piece. ...

“We are following our faculty-driven process for the dismissal of a tenured faculty member for cause,” Dave Kielmeyer, executive director of communications and marketing at the school, told in an email Wednesday.

“It’s destructive, but all too common nowadays, for a university to suspend or try to dismiss a tenured professor over bogus accusations that really amount to ‘we don’t like his or her politics,’” Gerber’s lawyer, Robert L. Shibley, of counsel with Allen Harris Law, said in an email to Wednesday. “ONU’s attempt to break new ground by refusing even to provide the bogus accusations will, if it’s allowed to succeed, drive a final stake into the heart of academic freedom.”

Jonathan Turley (George Washington), Ohio Northern Pulls Law Professor Out of Classroom … But Will Not Explain Why:

Gerber says that an investigation began in January 2023, but school officials refused to tell him the grounds. He refused to participate until he was given details on the charges. ...

I am frankly perplexed by the position of the law school, which seems wholly at odds with core principles of due process. For a school that is rightfully proud of its success in trial advocacy, I assume students are given the charges or questions presented before trial or appellate arguments.

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