The Salaita no-confidence tide has swept the humanities at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign campus. The latest to show courage and commitment to the university’s own statutes and policies is the Department of French and Italian that has registered a no-confidence vote in the administration in the wake of the Steven Salaita viewpoint-cleansing crusade at the flagship state university of the “Land of Lincoln.”
Clearly Chancellor Phyllis M. Wise has a problem on her hands. Her effectiveness as the academic leader of the campus, recognising the role of the provost, will be stymied with the growing faculty rebellion taking place. Were she to resign, it would be an act of courage. Were she to reverse course and publicly endorse the reversal of the Salaita suspension without pay (summary dismissal), it would be an act of greatness especially if she were forced out by the president or the Board of Trustees. That would represent sacrifice for the common good. Suddenly she would be seen as exhibiting uncommon reflection and the capacity to listen to her faculty and the voices of reason throughout the academy in the United States. Will she? Can she? Let us hope so because UIUC committed an inhumane act of administrative abuse of a colleague and it needs to be rectified.
This is an unofficial tabulation of departments and programmes that “got game.” The list grows quickly and I do have other endeavors than keeping a scorecard! Yet I think this is accurate. Now, I wonder when will the sciences or engineers step up and seal the deal? I will not judge a department; that is not the AAUP way. I will, however, hope that the conversation that has begun across several disciplines at the great university will continue to grow in order to address a severely wounded reputation and loss of respect among so many scholars and academics in the United States.
American Indian Studies
Latino and Latina Studies