AAUP Censure Of UI Continues, Pending Action On Change To Appointment Process
The censure of the University of Illinois by the American Association of University Professors is going into its second year --- despite hopes that it would be lifted at the group’s annual meeting last week. Instead, delegates voted to let the censure continue.
It was first imposed in 2015, after U of I trustees withdrew a faculty appointment for Steven Salaita, due to his controversial tweets about Israel.
Currently, trustees vote on all faculty appointments. But Religion Professor Bruce Rosenstock, a U of I delegate to the AAUP, says a proposed rules change would keep most decisions on faculty appointments at the campus level --- unless trustees make an active decision to intervene.
Rosenstock says that proposal is still undergoing faculty review. And until that’s completed and the trustees take their final vote, he doesn’t think the AAUP will lift its censure.
“I’m not saying that the Board of Trustees has to approve it in order for censure to be lifted,” said Rosenstock. “But at this point, it is clear that Committee A will not put before the delegates another resolution to lift censure, so long as this amendment is in play.”
The “Committee A” that Rosenstock mentioned is an AAUP committee devoted to academic freedom issues.
U of I Urbana campus Interim Chancellor Barbara Wilson said she was disappointed by the AAUP’s decision to continue its censure. “We believe we have addressed the AAUP’s concerns,” she said in a statement.
Rosenstock says the U of I has addressed many concerns about academic freedom on campus ---- but that work on the proposal to change how faculty are appointed needs to be completed before any further decisions are made by the AAUP about lifting censure.