Ohio Northern University, a private United Methodist-affiliated school, instructs about 3,000 students with a staff of approximately 650.
Dr. Scott Gerber, who taught at the school’s College of Law, was pulled out of class and escorted off campus in April 2023 by campus police officers. That suspension was immediately followed by his termination, and now there are allegations and counter-allegations over the reason for his termination.
According to ONU, it was forced to take action because of numerous complaints Gerber had created a hostile work environment that was so bad his colleagues quit.
According to Gerber, who is represented by America First Legal Foundation, his firing was political because he took repeated actions about DEI – diversity, equity and inclusion – policies on the campus that affected hiring practices. One example was an American Bar Association questionnaire in which the law school allegedly admitted it “pays careful attention” to diversity when filling faculty and staff positions.
The legal complaint states Gerber filed a complaint with the EEOC in June 2022 alleging his colleagues were violating federal laws that prohibit discrimination.
The legal complaint, filed Jan. 23, describes Gerber as a "libertarian” who opposes the “practice of considering race, sex, and ethnicity in the admission of college students and in the hiring of college faculty and staff.”
If that description summarizes Gerber’s views and beliefs, he would certainly clash with a college or university that has embraced the tenets of DEI. That race-based philosophy preaches “inclusion” and “diversity” but, in practice, can’t allow opposing beliefs that counter its claims about racism and white people.
The website for ONU describes an Office of Multicultural Development that supports “belonging, equity, inclusion and access.”
At the law school, where Gerber worked, a “Diversity Statement” posted online states the law school supports a “diverse and inclusive student body.”
The statement defines “diversity” as “race, ethnicity, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, religion, language, abilities/disabilities, socioeconomic status, geographic region, and more.”
Conservative activist-writer Linda Harvey, who leads Ohio-based Mission: America, tells AFN she believes the professor and supports his lawsuit.
“This lawsuit is totally justified, it sounds like, because it's yet another example of the cancel culture and the increasing lawlessness at every level in our culture," she says.