My source on the Gender and Women’s Studies, Sociology and Geography departments of votes of no-confidence and a demand for the restoration of the appointment of Steven Salaita was the Campus Faculty Association facebook page. It should be noted that G.W.S. students led the way. They were the first students on the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign campus that took direct action in terms of appearing at meetings, speaking to the chancellor, Phyllis M.Wise and promoting very publicly the cause of resisting viewpoint cleansing at the Big Ten university. ‘
Here we are in the United States, sixty years after the dreaded McCarthyism Era of the big lie, suppression of critical thinking and the age of conformity, still suffering under the sword of powerful administrators destroying the careers of sensitive, more vulnerable faculty that opposed the burning of babies and the killing of civilian populations during war. Remember that is what Professor Salaita was tweeting about: the murder and strategic bombing of an open-air ghetto in Gaza in which the impoverished were being reduce to greater levels of misery and deprivation. And Dr Wise is concerned about civility? I am concerned about war and murder and harm to the vulnerable. That is my concern!:
Gender and Women’s Studies at UIUC votes no confidence, the 12th department to do so:
“The Department of Gender and Women’s Studies at the University of Illinois stands with our colleagues in American Indian Studies and calls for the reinstatement of our colleague Dr. Steven Salaita to the AIS faculty. We therefore declare no confidence in the leadership of Chancellor Phyllis Wise, President Robert Easter, and the Board of Trustees. We do not take this step lightly, but our commitment to the principles of academic freedom, shared governance, and the right of free speech in the service of social justice compels us to do so.”
And: The Department of Sociology and the Department of Geography and Geographic Information Science and the Department of Education Policy and Leadership vote NO CONFIDENCE. So fifteen departments and programs have voted no confidence!! How can a chancellor remain in office, other than through elite empowerment by her president and Board of Trustees, with such a lack of support among her disparate faculties at the Urbana campus?