Ohio Northern University: Professor Suspended for Unspecified Collegiality Concerns


Ohio Northern University

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Case Overview

On April 14, 2023, Ohio Northern University campus security escorted Professor of Law Scott Gerber off campus after ONU suspended him from teaching, service, and scholarship duties, purportedly “to ensure [his] safety, the safety of others, and to protect the instructional integrity of the college of law’s program of instruction.” ONU claimed he violated university policies “governing collegiality” and offered him an opportunity to resign or retire in lieu of initiating the termination process. Despite Gerber’s repeated requests for the factual basis of the allegations against him, ONU refused to provide it. On May 2, FIRE called on ONU to immediately provide Gerber sufficiently detailed information about the
allegations against him so he may prepare a defense, and to rescind any punishment based on his exercise of academic freedom, which the university promises to protect.

After a September 11 disciplinary hearing where ONU found that Gerber violated university policies, the ONU Board of Trustees affirmed his dismissal on October 27. On January 23, 2024, Gerber and his attorneys at America First Legal sued ONU in Ohio state court for breach of contract and other claims stemming from his termination.