America First Legal Defends Tenured Professor and Sues Ohio Northern University for Terminating Him for Objecting to Illegal DEI Hiring

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, America First Legal (AFL) and counsel Julie Byrne and Benjamin Flowers with Ashbrook Byrne Kresge filed an amended complaint in a lawsuit against Ohio Northern University on behalf of legal scholar, author, and tenured professor at the University, Scott Gerber.

In 2023, Ohio Northern University decided to terminate Dr. Gerber’s employment. Egregiously, on April 14, 2023, school security—with support from armed police officers from Ada, Ohio—removed Dr. Gerber while he was teaching his law school class. They escorted him to the office of Dean Charles H. Rose III, a defendant in this case, who told Dr. Gerber that he must either resign or face termination proceedings. Dr. Gerber learned that the hiring committee for new law faculty had chosen candidates based on their race and sex. Dr. Gerber objected to ONU’s woke “DEI” driven hiring practices and made complaints about it to the University administration and the EEOC. 

Dr. Gerber refused to resign. The University then commenced termination proceedings against him. Neither the University nor any of its employees told Dr. Gerber what he was accused of having done, notwithstanding his contractual right as a tenured faculty member to be informed with “reasonable particularity” of the accusations against him. The Ohio State Court issued a temporary restraining order against ONU, requiring them to notify Dr. Gerber of what he was alleged to have done. 

When the hearing eventually went forward, the University ambushed Dr. Gerber with new accusations, denied Dr. Gerber his contractual right to confront the witnesses against him, and made Dr. Gerber subject to a sham hearing with a predetermined outcome. In the midst of this, the University defamed Dr. Gerber; it issued a press release falsely labeling Dr. Gerber a threat to the physical safety of faculty, staff, and students. 

This is simply an escalation in the culture war. Even tenured professors will no longer be tolerated and will be terminated if they refuse to bend the knee to the current woke ideology. 

America First Legal is proud to represent Dr. Gerber and fight this unlawful termination.

Statement from Nicholas Barry, America First Legal Senior Counsel:

“Everyone understands the purpose of tenure is to protect academic freedom. It permits academics to teach, think, and speak in accordance with their conscience. The culture war has invaded every American institution. Now even right-leaning tenured professors are on the chopping block for standing up to the hive mind. ONU failed to give Dr. Gerber a fair hearing and violated the terms of his tenure contract because he objected. We must insist on the rule of law. It cannot continue to be rules for thee but not for me.” said Nicholas Barry.

Read the lawsuit here.

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