OSU librarian slapped with “sexual harassment” charge for recommending conservative books for freshmen

Ohio State University will press forward with frivolous investigation despite ADF letter
Thursday, April 13, 2006

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Officials at the Ohio State University are investigating an OSU Mansfield librarian for “sexual harassment” after he recommended four conservative books for a freshman reading program.  ADF has demanded that OSU cease its frivolous investigation, yet the university is pressing forward, claiming that it takes the charges “seriously.”

“Universities are one of the most hostile places for Christians and conservatives in America,” said ADF Senior Legal Counsel David French, who heads ADF’s Center for Academic Freedom.  “It is shameful that OSU would investigate a Christian librarian for simply recommending books that are at odds with the prevailing politics of the university.”

Scott Savage, who serves as a reference librarian for the university, suggested four best-selling conservative books for freshman reading in his role as a member of OSU Mansfield’s First Year Reading Experience Committee.  The four books he suggested were The Marketing of Evil by David Kupelian, The Professors by David Horowitz, Eurabia:  The Euro-Arab Axis by Bat Ye’or, and It Takes a Family by Senator Rick Santorum.  Savage made the recommendations after other committee members had suggested a series of books with a left-wing perspective, by authors such as Jimmy Carter and Maria Shriver.

Savage was put under “investigation” by OSU’s Office of Human Resources after three professors filed a complaint of discrimination and harassment against him, saying that the book suggestions made them feel “unsafe.”  The complaint came after the OSU Mansfield faculty voted without dissent to file charges against Savage.  The faculty later voted to allow the individual professors to file charges.

On March 28, ADF sent OSU officials a letter informing them of Savage’s constitutional rights.  A copy of the letter can be read here.  The university so far has declined to stop the investigation, saying in its response that it takes “any allegation of sexual harassment seriously.”

“The OSU Mansfield faculty is attempting to label a librarian as a ‘sexual harasser’ because they disagree with his book suggestions,” said French.  “It is astonishing that an entire faculty would vote to launch a sexual harassment investigation because a librarian offered book suggestions in a committee whose purpose was to solicit such suggestions.”

ADF is a legal alliance defending the right to hear and speak the Truth through strategy, training, funding, and litigation.

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