CEDARVILLE — A lawsuit filed in Greene County Common Pleas Court by a former Cedarville student against the university and a professor was voluntarily dismissed by the plaintiff.
Glenn M. Hartle II, from Warsaw, Ohio, filed the lawsuit March 10, 2016 against the university and biology assistant professor Cynthia Carol Wingert alleging slander, libel, defamation of character and other wrongful acts as a result of Hartle’s performance on a human structure and function I final exam, administered by Wingert.
Court records indicate civil mediation sessions were scheduled but did not indicate if they took place. The lawsuit was dismissed Jan. 20.
“Cedarville University is pleased that the lawsuit involving a former student and the university has been voluntarily dismissed by the student,” Cedarville spokesperson Mark D. Weinstein said. “We believe this decision was consistent with the facts and merits of the case. We affirm the cooperation and professionalism of Professor Cindy Wingert during this litigation process and in her classroom. As an institution, we remain committed to equipping students for lifelong leadership and service through an education marked by excellence and grounded in biblical truth.”
According to the lawsuit, Hartle was given a grade of “incomplete” on the final exam after Wingert “admonished” him “that he could not have done so well on the examination without cheating.” The eight-page document said Hartle denied Wingert’s allegations and indicated that he had “both studied for the examination and had utilized test-taking strategies. He further informed Ms. Wingert that he had found a pattern on the examinations, as he had been taught to do.”
Hartle claims Wingert harassed, humiliated and degraded him and insisted that because he had “done so well on the examination, plaintiff did not deserve the grade he had earned” despite the fact that Hartle had received an “A” and a “B-” in his other classes that semester.
Hartle was ordered to retake the exam or fail the course. He appealed the incomplete grade but no action was taken by the defendants, according to the lawsuit. In response, the university said Hartle failed to follow policy in appealing the grade.
The lawsuit also claimed that Wingert made statements to various persons “without privilege” to the effect that Hartle had cheated on the exam and made other false and malicious statements which “reflect poorly upon the character and reputation” of Hartle.
“I am pleased with the news of the dismissal of the lawsuit,” Wingert said in a statement released by the school. “My utmost intention in teaching is to honor Christ, modeling academic excellence and integrity and providing instruction for students that is centered on a biblical worldview. As faculty members, we trust our students will embrace this approach and pursue their academics from the same perspective. It is a privilege to equip students for meaningful careers and ministry.”
Hartle’s Dublin-based attorney, James H. Banks, could not be reached for comment. Hartle is no longer enrolled at Cedarville, the school said.