Matthew Rothschild in The Progressive has writtenÂ an analytic articleÂ on the Steven Salaita blacklisting and firing from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. In it the article contains references to the national American Association of University Professors (AAUP)Â statement of support as issued by President Rudy Fichtenbaum and First Vice President and Committee A on Academic Freedom and Tenure Chair Henry Reichman, as well my comments in an op-ed in the News-Gazette of Urbana-Champaign:
On August 19, the chair of the AAUPâ€™s Illinois committee on academic freedom, Peter Kirstein, wrote in the News-Gazette: â€œAcademic freedom requires that both substance and from are protected speech when engaging in extramural utterances.â€ Kirstein was especially distressed by the way in which the chancellor rescinded Salaitaâ€™s job offer.
â€œIn their egregious dismissal letter of Aug. 1, no reason is given why a contract offered tenÂ months ago is voided,â€ he wrote. â€œIt is unconscionable that an academician would be fired in this manner. . . . The absence of an explanation is one of the worst cases of administration abuse of a faculty member I have ever witnessed.â€ –
Howard Zinn, my advisor and professor at Boston University, was a frequent contributor to TheÂ Progressive. He would frequently mention it as a valuable resource in his classes. It is gratifyingÂ to be included in their venerable publication on a matter of such significant public concern.