It is obvious that the American Association of University Professors is prepared to investigate the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. If the faculty Senate Committee on Academic Freedom and Tenure issues a report that seeks restoration of Steven Salaita’s position and is ignored, it is clear that A.A.U.P. would investigate the summary dismissal of Professor Steven Salaita.
I would assume given the strong and dynamic letters that it has sent to U.I.U.C. Chancellor Phyllis M. Wise, if the C.A.F.T. were to support the dismissal of the professor, A.A.U.P. would still investigate given the egregious violations of numerous seminal A.A.U.P. documents and reports as contained in the Redbook–not to mention in the contract materials send to Professor Salaita last October! The issues, as Anita Levy states, are of “critical importance.” The Association should and I believe would investigate, if at the end of the day, Professor Salaita has not been restored to his position as a tenured associate professor in the American Indian Studies Program.
I received this as an e-mail attachment on September 9, 2014, Tuesday, from Dr. Levy at 1:56 P.M.:
VIA U.S. AND ELECTRONIC MAIL
Dr. Phyllis Wise
Chancellor, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
Swanlund Administration Building
601 East John Street
Champaign, Illinois 61820
Dear Chancellor Wise:
As you well know, the UIUC Senate Committee on Academic Freedom and Tenure has approved having a subcommittee “investigate the events that led to the University administration’s recent decision not to appoint Steven Salaita.” We see this as a positive step that accords with AAUP-recommended procedures for adjudicating disputes arising over issues of academic freedom and tenure.
The issues raised in this case are so critically important, and seen as such nationally, that an investigation by the Association would have commenced by now were it not for the role being assumed by the university’s committee.
We are informed that the subcommittee expects to produce a report promptly. We will continue to monitor developments closely and respond accordingly.
Anita Levy, Ph.D.
cc: Chair Christopher Kennedy, Board of Trustees
President Robert Easter
Interim Dean Brian H. Ross
September 9, 2014
Professor Robert Warrior, Director, American Indian Studies Program
Professor Jodi Byrd
Professor David J. O’Brien, Chair, Committee on Academic Freedom and Tenure
Professor Roy Campbell, Chair, Senate Executive Committee
Professor Bruce Rosenstock, Chair, Campus Faculty Association
Professor Steven Salaita
Professor Michael Harkins, President, Illinois AAUP Conference
Professor Peter Kirstein, Chair, Illinois AAUP Conference Committee on Academic Freedom and Tenure
Professor Harry Hilton, President, UIUC AAUP Chapter