Ferris Professor Suspended for Profanity-Laced Video, Threatens to Sue School
* * UPDATE ** January 20, 2022
Professor Mehler issued a follow-up video which is embedded as the second video below. He notes that the video that created an uproar last week was a scripted performance. He clarified that his grading system is not random and that students are graded based on the work they do.
A Ferris State University professor who was suspended after making a profanity-laced introduction video says he plans to sue the school if he's not reinstated.
Barry Mehler's lawyer tells the Detroit News that the history professor's actions are protected by the First Amendment and his employment contract with the university. He plans to file a lawsuit on Mehler's behalf if the 74-year-old professor is not quickly reinstated.
What Are the Contents of Professor Mehler's Video?
After sharing a funny (and ridiculous-by-today's-standards) vintage TV commercial for Camel cigarettes, Mehler notes that the ad illustrates pure capitalism - turning death into profit.
He goes on to say that he's making the video to introduce himself before he gets to meet his students "F to F, as we say these days, which everybody knows means 'f--- to f---' which really means 'that we're all f---ed.'"
Mehler continues by calling his students "vectors of disease," referring to the coronavirus pandemic and then uses plenty of colorful language to explain that because he will soon be retiring, he is completely uninterested in the opinions of others.
He then goes on to talk about his unusual grading system, saying that it matters not how hard students work.
"None of you [expletives] are good enough to earn an A in my class," Mehler muses. "So I randomly assign grades before the first day of class. I don't want to know s--- about you, I don't even want to know your name."
The video has been viewed more than 500,000 times on YouTube. You can watch it below but please note the language is a bit salty. Like pure rocksalt salty.
What's Next for Dr. Mehler?
Ferris State President David Eisler has placed Mehler on administrative leave.
His lawyer says Dr. Mehler has been inundated with letters of support from current and former students as well as faculty and educators around the world.
Ferris State University has yet to comment on Mehler's threat to file a lawsuit if he's not reinstated.