OSU professor arrested on fugitive charges, search being conducted for replacement


Via Benton County Sheriff's Office

Brett Tyler, an OSU professor, was arrested on Oct. 7, 2021 for fugitive charges from the state of Virginia. Tyler was extradited by a Benton County Circuit Court judge on April 21 to the state of Virginia.

Adriana Gutierrez, Editor-in-Chief

Correction: This story has been updated to say that Tyler resigned on Oct. 13. A previous version of this story stated Tyler had been terminated. 

An Oregon State University professor and researcher has resigned from his position as of Oct. 13 after being arrested for fugitive charges from the state of Virginia. 

Brett Tyler, vice president for Research at the Center for Quantitative Life Sciences as well as a professor within the Department of Botany and Plant Pathology, was arrested by the Benton County Sheriff’s Office on Oct. 7 and was released on bail Oct. 11. The bail was set at $200,000. 

The university has begun the process of finding replacements for both of Tyler’s positions. OSU’s Vice President of Research Irem Tumer serves as the hiring supervisor and is working with CQLS to find a permanent replacement. 

Tyler’s resignation is immediate, but he will remain an official employee until Nov. 30. 

“The process of the university when there are interim appointments is to conduct a search—a national search—for a permanent director for that center. That will occur in the months ahead,” said Steve Clark, vice president of University Relations and Marketing. “Brett Tyler does not have a role in either what takes place within the assignment of a new leader within the center or within his role within the Botany and Plant Pathology Center.” 

Tyler’s next court date is set for Nov. 4, where the fugitive charges will be discussed. According to court documents, the charges in Virginia were two counts of forcible sodomy, two counts of taking indecent liberties with children and one count of aggravated sexual battery, but the documents do not indicate when the charges occurred. 

Prior to working at OSU, Tyler worked at Virginia Tech from 2002-2011. University administration has said they were not aware of the charges when hiring Tyler in 2012. 

“We take seriously all reports of misconduct, whether they’re involving a minor or not,” Clark said. “It is a philosophy, it is a policy, it is a practice of the university.” 

This is an ongoing story and updates will be posted as the story progresses. 

Was this article helpful?