News Local/State

Judge Rules That Salaita Lawsuit Against U of I Can Proceed


Professor Steven Salaita addresses a large crowd of supporters at the University YMCA in 2014.

Jim Meadows

A federal judge has allowed most of Steven Salaita’s lawsuit against the University of Illinois to proceed.

U.S. District Judge Harry D. Leinenweber ruled Thursday that the U of I had a contract with the professor when it withdrew a job offer last year. He said that was reason enough for Salaita's lawsuit against the university to continue.

But the judge also threw out four lesser claims filed by Salaita… including allegations that donors interfered with his hiring at the U of I by threatening to withhold donations.  

Salaita says he’s happy the lawsuit is moving forward.  He lost his appointment to the U of I last year over a series of profane, anti-Israel Twitter messages. 

University Urbana campus spokeswoman Robin Kaler issued a statement… saying the U of I is gratified the judge dismissed four of the nine counts.  She says while Salaita has the right to continue his lawsuit… a much narrower version of the case will proceed.