The saga with Dr. Barry Mehler has finally come to an end, as Ferris and Mehler have settled the case outside of court.
Mehler is now officially retired after over 30 years of teaching at Ferris, and he is looking forward to the next chapter in his life.
This news comes after Mehler’s class introduction video went viral at the beginning of the semester, after which he was suspended pending a university investigation.
On Jan. 25, Mehler’s lawyer filed a lawsuit alleging that the suspension was a violation of his First and Fourteenth Amendment rights. On March 7, Mehler’s request for a preliminary injunction in court was denied.
“I am grateful for the administration’s settlement we reached. You can leave feeling bitter or hurt, or you can leave feeling good, and I have to tell you, it’s been a wonderful career. I’ve loved working at Ferris,” Mehler said.
While neither party is allowed to discuss the details of the settlement, both are pleased with the result.
“The parties have amicably resolved their differences,” Ferris said in a statement released by Sandy Gholston, Ferris’ news services and social media manager.
Mehler also explained that he’s grateful for the controversial end to his career at Ferris. He didn’t realize the number of students’ lives he touched, and during the controversy, many reached out showing their support.
“The word that’s used repeatedly is transformative, that my teaching has really affected lives. People have said that I’m the most influential professor… I really wouldn’t have known. So, the controversy has turned out to be a blessing in so many different ways,” Mehler said.
While Mehler is now retired and just celebrated his 75th birthday, he shows no signs of slowing down.
In the fall semester of 2022, there will be a tribute, most likely virtual, that Mehler’s colleagues are putting on. The tribute will showcase his career at Ferris, his eugenics work, the Shoah Archive and other work outside of Ferris.
Additionally, a professor in New Orleans is going over the hundreds of correspondences Mehler has from the 70s and 80s with prisoners as part of his work to prevent sexual abuse in prisons. The professor will be writing a book on their findings.
“I was able to get a young man released from prison, [and] he and I started this organization, which is today, Just Detention International,” Mehler said.
The organization has been nominated for a 2022 Nobel Peace Prize. Regardless of the result, Mehler has expressed gratitude for the opportunity to create and grow an organization that addresses sexual abuse in prisons and refugee camps all over the world.
While Mehler’s time as a professor at Ferris has ended, he will be celebrating his career in the fall with a virtual event sponsored by ISAR, which the Torch will be covering.