Academic freedom and free speech at colleges and universities are at the center of ongoing litigation in Gerber v. Ohio Northern University.

In April 2023, Dr. Scott Gerber was abruptly removed from his law class by school security and brought to the dean’s office. Dr. Gerber was then told by Dean Charles H. Rose III that he must resign or face termination proceedings. During his time teaching, he had been a long-standing critic of the University’s use of race, sex, and ethnicity factors in hiring and student admissions. He refused to resign and the University soon commenced termination proceedings against him. Dr. Gerber was not told what he was accused of doing, despite his contractual right as a tenured faculty member to be informed with “reasonable particularity” of the accusations against him. Hardin County, Ohio Court of Common Pleas issued a temporary restraining order against ONU, requiring them to notify Dr. Gerber of what he was alleged to have done. At the hearing, the University allegedly failed to give Dr. Gerber a fair hearing as they brought forward new accusations and denied Dr. Gerber his contractual right to interview witnesses.

Dr. Gerber, who is represented by the America First Legal Foundation, has now filed suit against Ohio Northern University to restore his reputation, regain his employment, and secure compensation for the actions of the University.

This was a Litigation Update on Gerber v. Ohio Northern University with Ben Flowers, one of Dr. Gerber’s attorneys and a Partner at Ashbrook Byrne Kresge, moderated by Dan Morenoff, Executive Director at American Civil Rights Project.

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