More than three months after he was banished from campus, Dave Berger has been told that he can return to Inver Hills Community College and resume teaching.
Berger, a sociology instructor who helped lead a no-confidence vote against the school’s president in January, was put on “paid investigative leave” on Feb. 12 after an unidentified complaint was filed against him.
The college notified him this week that the forced leave was over and that the “investigation is reaching conclusion.”
Berger, who turned 53 on Wednesday, called it “kind of a birthday present.” Two weeks ago, he sued the college and its president, Tim Wynes, along with the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system, over its handling of the case, which he claims was retaliation for his union activities.
“I get to teach, and that’s the good news,” said Berger, who was forced to abandon his spring classes when he was put on leave. But he said the college still forbids him from speaking about the investigation with colleagues or students. “So I’m still under a gag order.”
Berger denies any wrongdoing but has said his attorney has advised him not to talk about the complaint while the investigation is ongoing.
College officials did not respond to requests for comment.
Berger’s supporters have created an online petition and conducted a monthslong campaign on Facebook (with a page called “BringBergerBack”) calling for his reinstatement.