Controversial professor James Kilgore will teach at the U of I in the Spring, after a semester of being barred from employment at the school. Kilgore was reinstated as an adjunct lecturer.
Kilgore had been working at the U of I since 2010, as a part-time instructor and supplementing that job with a grant-writing position elsewhere at the U of I. But in the Spring, Kilgore's contracts were not renewed for either job after a media report revealed the professor's past in the Symbionese Liberation Army, a 1970s-era terrorist group.
The SLA is most famous for kidnapping socialiste Patty Hirsch in 1974. The next year, Kilgore was involved in a bank robbery that ended with one person dead. Kilgore spent years on the run, but eventually served his prison sentence, and found work at the U of I.
Last month, the Board of Trustees cleared the way for Kilgore to be re-hired, after months of faculty and staff lobbying the Board to reconsider its policing of hires.
Professor Tom Bassett says he's eager for Kilgore to teach an eight-week seminar to undergraduates in the Spring.
"Professor Kilgore has an excellent track record in the classroom," he said, pointing to Kilgore's rating of "excellent" by students in official class reviews. "I'm delighted to have an excellent teacher returning to the classroom."
The class is part of a required undergraduate course of study in the Global Studies department, part of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. The course is titled "Sweat Shops or Flat World Opportunities? Exploring the New World of Work," which centers around the changing global labor market, Bassett says.
Kilgore will be paid $3,500 for the eight weeks, breaking down to $437.50 per week, pre-taxes.
But at least one wealthy donor isn't happy with the decision and has threatened to pull $4.5 million in promised funding to the Chicago campus.