News Local/State

AAUP Urges U Of I To Pay Salaita


A national association dedicated to protecting academic freedom expressed deep concern over the University of Illinois’ recent withdrawal of a job offer to Steven Salaita.

 He’s the professor who recently used Twitter to angrily denounce Israel during its conflict with Hamas.  A letter sent Friday from the American Association of University Professors urged the university to pay Salaita a salary while his case is under review.  In it, AAUP Associate Secretary Anita Levy cautioned that when faculty members “speak or write as citizens they should be free from institutional censorship or discipline.” The letter was sent to Urbana campus Chancellor Phyllis Wise.

Emails released by the university show that dozens of students, parents and donors begged Chancellor Phyllis Wise not to hire Salaita. On August 1st the offer was pulled back. Wise said Salaita's hiring hadn't yet been approved by the board of trustees.

Three U of I departments have now cast no confidence votes in Chancellor Wise and the Board of Trustees.

Salaita has not returned several requests for an interview.