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Math professor fired after criticizing slavery reparations continues legal battle against St. Joe’s

A math professor’s two-year-old lawsuit against Saint Joseph’s University, filed in the wake of controversy over his social media posts criticizing slavery reparations and other comments, continues to wind its way through the court system.

Gregory Manco sued the institution he taught at for nearly two decades, as well as coached baseball for, alleging some administrators conspired with a few left-leaning alumni to effectively “cancel” him over tweets that ran afoul of progressive dogma.

The ordeal launched after an alumnus who received an “F” in Manco’s class back in 2017 discovered four years later that the mathematician tweeted from a then-anonymous “South Jersey Giants” Twitter account, the lawsuit alleges.

As a result, she filed a bias complaint, alleging Manco is racist and citing his social media activity, even though she never complained in any way about Manco as a student.

Administrators allegedly encouraged the student to find corroborating evidence, leading to an open call on social media urging alumni to report Manco as racist, and prompting four other alumni to chime in, according to the complaint.

Manco, who received glowing evaluations prior to the incident, was immediately suspended in 2021 during the probe into the racism complaints, which he argues did not follow due process policies.

The probe eventually effectively cleared him of wrongdoing. The university at the time cited insufficient evidence. The lawsuit alleges that’s false, the probe exonerated him. The lawsuit adds Manco has never been accused of bias or discrimination in any evaluations.

Manco in January 2022 sued the university and five alumni involved in the bias accusations for defamation, false light, breach of contract, and retaliation, among other claims. He seeks punitive damages.

Manco’s lawsuit named the alumni as defendants, and used screenshots of past emails and texts to repudiate their claims against him.

The private Philadelphia-based university responded four months later by firing Manco, teaching as an adjunct there at the time, arguing his lawsuit violated the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, or FERPA.

Manco was scheduled to teach over the summer and fall at St. Joe’s prior to his termination. He has since obtained a job at Rutgers University — his alma mater — as the lawsuit is hashed out.

Manco declined comment to The College Fix. Kevin Gfeller, a spokesperson for the university, told The College Fix via email “the matter is before the court, and out of respect for the judicial process, Saint Joseph’s University will respond in that forum.”

Manco’s attorney, Philly-based lawyer Joseph Toddy, told The College Fix the two sides are working to schedule a preliminary settlement conference after the university’s motion to dismiss failed to get the complaint completely tossed.

Discovery has yet to transpire due to the initial motions, and Toddy said Manco is looking forward to obtaining a full copy of the report clearing him of wrongdoing in 2021. The university is paying for all of the defendants’ legal fees.

A small group of administrators gave “credence to completely false, unsupported, undocumented, and implausible allegations of racial bias, and then used those allegations to justify an investigation, suspension and non-renewal of his contract as a Visiting Professor of Mathematics, despite his dedication and excellent performance,” the lawsuit alleges.

The defendants “acted to ‘cancel’ Dr. Manco,” it adds.

As The College Fix previously reported in 2021, in one of the controversial tweets, Manco compared slavery reparations to the great-great-grandchild of a murder victim asking the perpetrator’s great-great-grandchild for compensation.

“Now get this racist reparation bullshit out of your head for good,” he added in his tweet.

In the second, he argued racial bias training “divides us and *worsens* race relations.” In the third, he responded, “Yet here you still are” to a woman who said that black people and Native Americans “have been hurt horribly” in America.

The posts remain up on X.

MORE: UCF must reinstate professor it fired after tweeting about ‘black privilege,’ arbitrator rules

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About the Author
Therese Joffre -- Hope College