News Local/State

UI Philosophy Faculty Defend Salaita with No-Confidence Vote


Faculty at the University of Illinois Philosophy Department have approved a vote of no-confidence in Chancellor Phyllis Wise, President Robert Easter and the Board of Trustees for the cancellation of Steven Salaita’s faculty appointment.

Salaita's appointment to teach in the American Indian Studies Program was withdrawn by the administration after he gained attention for posting controversial tweets critical of Israel in its conflict with Hamas.

The resolution says the university’s action betrays a “culpable disregard” for academic freedom and the principles of shared governance.

Chancellor Phyllis Wise has argued that the university could not tolerate “disrespectful words or actions that demean and abuse” viewpoints and those expressing them.  But Philosophy Department Chair Kirk Sanders says such a standard is too broad, and at odds with academic freedom.

The no-confidence vote approved Philosophy faculty on Thursday at the U of I Urbana campus comes after a similar vote by faculty at the American Indian Studies Program.