AAUP censures Illinois over firing Professor Salaita for tweets, Chancellor responds

Colleen Flaherty has the story in InsideHigherEd, here:

In a statement submitted to the AAUP, Salaita (who was not at the meeting), said, “One can disagree with my viewpoints and still see that [the] administration made a grave mistake it refuses to redress, based on outside interference and a host of assumptions about my pedagogical capabilities entirely bereft of — indeed, contrary to — evidence.”

The statement continues: “In fact, even if one deplores my viewpoints, that person cannot reasonably support the conduct of the [campus] leadership. As you all well know, the university’s malfeasance — and your considered response — have a lasting effect far beyond this individual academic.”

Phyllis Wise, chancellor of Urbana-Champaign, said in an emailed statement that the institution is “one of the world’s pre-eminent universities, with a longstanding commitment to the principles of academic freedom and shared governance.”

Presumably referring to previous attempts to settle with Salaita — who is pursuing an ongoing lawsuit against the university and the John Doe donors whom he alleges interfered in his appointment — along with promises to adjust the timeline for approvals of faculty members by the board, Wise said the university has “taken several key steps to address the concerns raised by AAUP. We are disappointed to be the subject of an AAUP censure, and we want to support faculty who are impacted by this censure by demonstrating our unyielding commitment to the principles of academic freedom while remaining focused on the excellence in learning, discovery, engagement and economic development that are at the core of our mission.”

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