Stanford’s Palumbo-Liu Quotes Illinois AAUP in Salaita Aljazeera Article

The University of Illinois has a clearly articulated policy that is quoted in Aljazeera:

The University of Illinois Statutes (Article IX, Section 3.a.) provide that only the Board of Trustees has the authority to make formal appointments to the academic staff.  New academic staff members will receive a formal Notification of Appointment from the Board once the hiring unit has received back from the candidate all required documents, so the appointment can be processed. {Emphasis added}

So basically the Board does housekeeping and because it frequently meets AFTER an initial appointment has already commenced, it merely affirms that paperwork is in order. It was the News-Gazette that initially released these documents that are referred to in the article. The Chicago Tribune’s Jodi Cohen probably was the first national reporter to reference them in her article on the Salaita affair, but it was the scrappy News-Gazette that published them.

I am particularly pleased that Dr. Palumbo-Liu quoted extensively from the first academic organisation statement on this academic freedom travesty: the American Association of University Professor (AAUP) Illinois Conference Committee A on Academic Freedom and Tenure:

For its part, even the AAUP, which opposes the academic boycott favoured by USACBI, has taken an immediate stand against this action, stating Salaita’s academic freedom has been violated. Both the Illinois chapter of the AAUP and the national office of the American Association of University Professors have come to Salaita’s defence:

The Illinois Conference Committee A on Academic Freedom and Tenure of the American Association of University Professors supports the honoring of the appointment of Steven G. Salaita in the American Indian Studies program at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Reports that the university has voided a job offer, if accurate, due to tweets on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict would be a clear violation of Professor Salaita’s academic freedom and an affront to free speech that we enjoy in this country…Professor Salaita’s words while strident and vulgar were an impassioned plea to end the violence currently taking place in the Middle East…Yet the University of Illinois cannot cancel an appointment based upon Twitter statements that are protected speech in the United States of America.

This entry was posted in Academia/Academic Freedom. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply