Josephson v. Ganzel
Description: University of Louisville officials demoted, harassed, and effectively fired a distinguished professor who successfully led the university’s child psychiatry program after he expressed his views on treatment approaches for youth experiencing gender dysphoria. Dr. Allan M. Josephson’s remarks in a panel discussion angered a few of his colleagues, who then learned he had served as an expert witness addressing similar issues. They then demanded that the university take disciplinary action, and university officials responded by demoting him weeks later to the role of a junior faculty member. The university later announced that it would not renew his contract, a highly unusual decision that meant he was effectively fired.
Univ. of Louisville professor fired for his views asks court to vindicate his free speech rights
WHO: Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys
WHAT: Available for media interviews following oral arguments in Josephson v. Ganzel
WHEN: Immediately following hearing, which begins at 1 p.m. EDT, Thursday, Nov. 3
WHERE: U.S. District Court for the Western District of Kentucky, 601 W. Broadway, Louisville. To schedule an interview, contact ADF Media Relations Manager Ellie Wittman at (202) 503-7984.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys representing a professor whom University of Louisville officials demoted, harassed, and then fired because of his views will be available for media interviews Thursday following oral arguments in Josephson v. Ganzel at the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Kentucky. ADF attorneys are asking the court to rule that these university officials violated the constitutionally protected freedoms of Dr. Allan M. Josephson.
“Universities should welcome differing viewpoints and encourage civil discourse in their academic communities,” said ADF Senior Counsel Tyson Langhofer, director of the ADF Center for Academic Freedom, who will be arguing before the court on behalf of Josephson. “Dr. Josephson has had a long and distinguished career at the University of Louisville, leading and rebuilding its child psychiatry program. Public universities have no business demoting or firing professors simply because they hold a different view than their colleagues or the administration, but that’s exactly what’s happened here. We urge the court to vindicate and protect the constitutionally protected rights of Dr. Josephson and every professor.”
The university hired Josephson in 2003 to be the chief of the then-struggling Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Psychology. Since then, he turned the division around, building a program that now has a national reputation. In the fall of 2017, Josephson participated in a panel discussion at The Heritage Foundation discussing treatment approaches for youth experiencing gender dysphoria. He also served as an expert witness addressing similar issues. A few of his colleagues disagreed with his views and demanded that the university take disciplinary action. University officials responded by demoting him weeks later to the role of a junior faculty member.
For the next year, Josephson was given assignments typically relegated to less experienced faculty. In February 2019, the university announced that it would not renew his contract in June, a highly unusual decision that terminated his employment at the university.
- Pronunciation guide: Langhofer (LANG’-hoff-ur)
The ADF Center for Academic Freedom is dedicated to protecting First Amendment and related freedoms for students and faculty so that everyone can freely participate in the marketplace of ideas without fear of government censorship.
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Tyson Langhofer serves as senior counsel with Alliance Defending Freedom and director of its Center for Academic Freedom. Before joining ADF, Langhofer was a partner with Stinson Leonard Street LLP, where he worked as a commercial litigation attorney for 15 years and earned Martindale-Hubbell’s AV Preeminent® rating. Langhofer earned his Juris Doctor from Regent University School of Law, where he graduated cum laude in 1999. He obtained a B.A. in international business with a minor in economics from Wichita State University in 1996. A member of the bar in Virginia, Kansas, and Arizona, Langhofer is also admitted to practice in numerous federal district courts.
Travis C. Barham serves as senior counsel for Alliance Defending Freedom, where he plays a key role with the ADF Center for Academic Freedom. He focuses his legal efforts on preserving and reclaiming religious freedom, freedom of speech, and freedom of association for students and faculty at universities throughout the country. His work has been instrumental in securing several strategic appellate court victories, including a public university free speech victory at the U.S. Supreme Court in 2021. Barham earned his Juris Doctor from Washington and Lee University School of Law in 2006, where he graduated summa cum laude. Barham is a member of the bars of Georgia and Arizona. He is also admitted to practice before multiple federal district and appellate courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court.