AAA Calls For Repair of Hiring Practices At U Illinois

3 thoughts on “AAA Calls For Repair of Hiring Practices At U Illinois”

  1. No, no, no, AAA. Be critical and decent. No self-evident support for Stephen Salaita.
    It is true that the right to free speech/opinion must be upheld even if the opinions expressed are repulsive, mendacious, unjust or discriminatory, as seems to be so in the case of Stephen Salaita. To have him as a colleague is not a nice thing to look forward to, and probably not good for students either. Just look at the content of his speech and his tweets… offensive and irresponsible. He just cannot think clearly. And that is a problem for an academic.
    There would, however, be no good reason to deny his appointment, because on the basis of academic freedom values, etc., the insulting or abusive or ill-informed opinions also must have the opportunity to be aired.
    But note that his appointment was never given final approval by either the University of Illinois’ Chancellor or its Board of Trustees. The university CEO can indeed stop or overturn an affirmative decision of the lower reviewing bodies. So there is a legal ground or possibility to not give him tenure; it is at the discretion of those in charge at the University of Illinois, and their responsibility includes guaranteeing a pleasant and constructive working environment, promoting scholarship, and perhaps preventing potentially destructive colleagues. Salaita might also be advised to become an activist rather than continue as an unhealthily biased academic.
    The pressure that Salaita and his supporters now put on the University of Illinois to get him appointed is unreasonable, and springs from the wrong decision by Salaita to resign his position at Virginia Tech, his previous institution, before he had received final approval for his appointment from the Univ.Ill. chancellor and board.

    Best regards.

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