I had published an op-ed critical of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Committee on Academic Freedom and Tenure report that investigated the Steven Salaita firing from the UIUC. Their dismissal of charges that outside donors and supporters of Israel had an impact on the firing and summary dismissal is hardly definitive. The CAFT failed to even contact much less seek information from the professor which is an outlandish oversight in a report that is intended to be balanced and bring to bear appropriate data from BOTH sides of the dispute.
Jim Dey, a conservative,Â skilled and able reporter, wrote an article in the Sunday, January 4, 2015Â News-GazetteÂ on the CAFT report thatÂ cites my critique of the CAFT report. This is the excerpt:
Jim Dey: No end in sight for UI’s Salaita controversy | News-Gazette.com
But Xavier University Professor Peter Kirstein, chairman of the Illinois American Association of University Professors, said it’s outrageous to conduct an examination of Salaita’s professional credentials as they relate to “protected political and professional speech.”
“The (committee) introduces a ‘professional fitness’ standard to determine whether Salaita’s tweets … demonstrate a lack of fitness,” Kirstein wrote in an analysis that described as Salaita as a “persecuted professor” being subjected to scrutiny that “confounds logic and vitiates the basic elements of justice.”