News Local/State

Chancellor Regrets Uproar Over Prof. Salaita


University of Illinois Urbana Phyllis Wise told a committee of faculty leaders Monday that she regretted the uproar caused by the decision not hire a professor whose Twitter messages were considered by some to be anti-Semitic.

Wise told the campus' Senate Executive Committee on Monday that the U of I's Board of Trustees will be asked to consider approving the hiring of future tenured faculty much earlier in the process.
Wise also said she wished she'd have consulted faculty who already had signed off on the decision to hire Steven Salaita as a Native American Studies professor, the News-Gazette reported.
Salaita accepted a job offer starting this fall but was told after he later posted numerous anti-Israel Twitter messages that he would not be hired. The Board of Trustees last week declined to change that decision.
Supporters believe he effectively already had been hired, so his speech was protected by academic tenure.  They said professors routinely begin work before the board approves their hires.
Salaita has said he plans to sue the U of I.