Ohio professor can teach again after African tree dispute

February 1, 2020 GMT

OXFORD, Ohio (AP) — A university professor in Ohio who was suspended when school officials learned an African tree that grows roots with hallucinogenic qualities was being cultivated in the plant conservatory he directed has been given permission to resume teaching classes.

Dan Gladish, a tenured biology professor at Miami University in southwest Ohio for 25 years, agreed in a settlement this week to a presidential reprimand and to resign at the beginning of 2024, The Cincinnati Enquirer reported. He will no longer serve as the conservatory’s director.

Gladish was suspended with pay when the school learned in late 2018 that a shrub-like iboga tree was growing in the conservatory at the school’s satellite campus in Hamilton. Chewing the iboga tree’s roots or bark can produce hallucinations. Ibogaine, a drug produced from the tree, is a federally controlled substance.

Miami University accused Gladish of violating the school’s drug-free work policy and other rules.

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration eventually seized the tree.

Gladish said the terms of the settlement means he cannot sue the school.