Miami Hamilton professor keeps job, accepts reprimand for drug-related plant issue

A professor whom Miami University wanted to fire because a plant capable of producing drugs was kept at its Hamilton campus Conservatory will keep his job as a biology professor.

Daniel Gladish will no longer be director of the conservatory, according to the university. He will continue to teach as a professor of biology and biological sciences. He was required to resign effective Jan. 1, 2024.

His 2019-20 salary is $88,919, and there was no extra pay for being The Conservatory’s director.

Gladish and associate professor of anthropology John Cinnamon both were suspended with pay while termination proceedings began over longtime presence of a Tabernanthe Iboga plant, which is listed as a Schedule I controlled substance, and can be made into a mind-altering drug that’s used in coming-of-age rites in West Africa.

Miami University’s American Association of University Professors Advocacy Chapter celebrated the reinstatement with the message posted Thursday: “As of yesterday, Professor Dan Gladish, the Miami Conservatory director who had been unfairly recommended for termination over the iboga case, has be reinstated with tenure and at his former rank. Justice has prevailed!”

Gladish was not immediately available to comment.

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“Inasmuch as you have agreed to accept this official Letter of Reprimand,” Miami President Gregory Crawford wrote in a two-page letter, “you are hereby reprimanded for your failure to adhere to Miami’s Drug Free Workplace Policy.”

Gladish on Tuesday signed the bottom of the letter as an indication he voluntarily accepted the discipline.

“You should have been aware that the Tabernanthe Iboga plant is listed as a Schedule I controlled substance,” Crawford’s letter states. “The University is also deeply concerned that your policy and practice of permitting student workers to access seedlings of plants fails to adequately address the risk to those students or others who come into contact with plants containing dangerous substances.”

Cinnamon’s case remains pending while he is on medical leave, said Claire Wagner, Miami’s director of university news and communications.

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