Ohio State has rehired Angela Bryant, the Ohio State professor who resigned amid a manic episode, for the start of the fall semester.
Bryant will return to her position as an associate professor in the Department of Sociology at the Newark campus 21 months after she resigned from her official position through a profane November 2020 email to the department’s then-chairman, according to an email obtained by The Lantern. The resignation was accepted, but Bryant’s request for her return to work was denied.
The Lantern reached out to Bryant for comment on her re-hiring, but was referred to university spokesman Ben Johnson.
Johnson said in an email that the university spoke with Bryant and decided to reinstate him.
“The University and Dr. Bryant engaged in productive discussions to understand each other’s perspectives and after these discussions concluded that the reemployment was a satisfactory outcome for all,” Johnson said. “The university looks forward to welcoming Dr. Bryant to Ohio State Newark this fall.”
According to National Institute of Mental Health, Bipolar disorder is a mental illness that causes “unusual changes in mood, energy, activity levels, concentration, energy, activity levels, and ability to perform daily tasks.” People with bipolar disorder may experience mania, in which they engage in uncharacteristic behavior.
During a manic episode, an individual may experience psychosis, in which they have hallucinations and delusions, according to the National Institute of Mental Health.
Bryant submitted one lawsuit against the state of Ohio for not reinstating her job on April 15, alleging that the action violates the Americans with Disabilities Act — which prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability. The suit sought damages against Johnson, Gilliam, Ohio State’s Newark campus Dean William MacDonald and Sociology Department Chair Kristi Williams.
Bryant’s battle to be rehired began on January 22, 2021, when she filed a complaint with the Ohio Civil Rights Commission. according to data obtained by The Lantern. On December 16, 2021, the commission dismissed her complaint in a report, saying that Bryant could not prove that the university had discriminated against her on the basis of her disability.
According to the report, the university did not know Bryant was “incapable of taking action on his own.” However, Bryant began experiencing mental health issues in December 2019, according to a complaint she filed on January 20, 2021 with the Committee on Academic Freedom and Responsibility.
The Faculty Hearing Committee — a group that considers faculty complaints — issued a letter Feb. 24 to University President Kristina M. Johnson and Executive Vice President and Provost Melissa L. Gilliam, asking that Bryant be reinstated. of Bryant’s lack of investigation into her mental health department after being notified on December 18, 2021 by her nurse practitioner.
In a previous Lantern ITEM, Bryant said she didn’t find another job during the fight to regain her position at the university because she wanted people to understand how much she loved her job and how much she missed her students.