Animal Sciences Faculty Sign Letter Supporting Wise
While faculty at some University of Illinois departments have passed no-confidence votes against their Chancellor, faculty at one department are uniting to support her.
Most faculty at the Department of Animal Sciences have signed a letter to University President Robert Easter, pledging their confidence in Urbana campus Chancellor Phyllis Wise, following her decision to withdraw the appointment of Steven Salaita.
"Faculty are not always going to agree with every decision, but this is no reason to deprive our campus of a talented, thoughtful and decisive leader," the letter states. "It is time that the silent majorities who support the Cancellor stand up and be heard."
Animal Sciences Professor Matthew Wheeler says faculty may not all agree with Wise’s action. But he says her decision in a difficult case should be respected, given all she’s done for the Urbana campus since her appointment three years ago.
"Her listening and learning tour certainly was a difference from things we’ve seen in the past", said Wheeler. "Her initiatives to bring more faculty to the campus, to expand the excellence that we have across campus to other department and other colleges; the work that she’s doing with the new College of Medicine proposal."
U of I faculty have signed petitions both supporting and opposing the chancellor’s decision to withdraw Salaita’s appointment, after he gained attention for posting tweets harshly critical of Israel’s attacks against Hamas in Gaza. Faculty at six departments in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences have passed no-confidence votes against her.