Nyre files suit against Seton Hall, alleges he was subject of retaliation for reporting misconduct

Former president of South Orange school resigned abruptly last summer

Former Seton Hall University President Joseph Nyre, who resigned last July with little explanation, on Monday filed a lawsuit in Superior Court in Essex County that explained why: He accused the school of retaliation after he raised objections about school conduct.

In the suit, Nyre said he was subjected to “gaslighting, intimidation and retaliation” after he raised objections to how the university was operating, including its handling of an investigation at the law school after it learned some longtime employees had stolen nearly $1 million over the course of many years.

Nyre, who is seeking back pay and reinstatement, also said a school official sexually harassed his wife, Kelli Nyre.

The full lawsuit can be found here.

Seton Hall, in a statement, denied the allegations.

“The claims in this filing are completely without merit, and we intend to vigorously contest them. Beyond this, we will not be commenting on this matter,” the statement said.

At the time of his departure, Nyre — in an email to the Seton Hall community — said the time was right for a change, noting that the school is close to completing its three-year strategic plan, Harvest Our Treasures, among other accomplishments, including leading the school through the pandemic.

Seton Hall board Chair Hank D’Alessandro, in a note to the university community then, thanked Nyre for his service.

“His leadership resulted in great strides across nearly every aspect of the Seton Hall experience, including enrollment and retention, academics, student services, affordability, campus buildings and fundraising,” D’Allessandro wrote.

“If the measure of a great leader is leaving a place better than he or she found it, then President Nyre’s legacy is assured.”

Nyre was believed to be one of the highest-paid university presidents in the state, with an annual salary of more than $1 million.

In February 2022, Nyre and his wife made a personal donation of $500,000 to the school to help make college more affordable.

No charges have been filed in the law school scandal, but Seton Hall announced in January that it has hired a new dean.

Ronald Weich, a prominent attorney who served in President Barack Obama’s administration and as chief counsel to Sens. Edward Kennedy and Harry Reid, will begin in the role July 1.