Updates on Salaita


For the most recent information about the efforts to reverse the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s decision to rescind Steven Salaita’s offer, see Corey Robin’s blog. According to him, six departments have voted no confidence in the university’s administration, seven professional associations have condemned the decision, and many scholars, including a number of philosophers, have cancelled talks they were to give there. If you are interested in emailing the UIUC Board of Trustees, he provides a list of their email addresses here. Robin also takes a look at various documents relating to donor pressure on the UIUC administration regarding Salaita’s appointment. John Protevi has been keeping his blog up to date with information regarding the case, too, and there is the Support Salaita Facebook Page, as well.  A number of people have published open letters to the UIUC administration. Here is one, sent earlier today, by Michael Otsuka (LSE):

Dear Trustees of the University of Illinois,

I am a Professor at the London School of Economics. I am also a faculty-elected member of the LSE’s Court of Governors. I write, however, in an individual capacity.

If you withhold pro forma approval of Professor Steven Salaita’s appointment alongside the others when you meet on September 11, you will make clear that associate and full professors at your university do not have tenure at the outset of their appointments. Rather, even after the starting dates listed on the letters of offer they have signed, their jobs may vanish without any demonstration of cause by normal procedures that apply to tenured professors.

You will also make clear that the assurances, norms, and practices on which academics rely when they resign their posts, in order to take up jobs elsewhere, do not apply when it comes to offers from the University of Illinois.

You will thereby undermine your ability to recruit the best scholars and teachers.

I therefore urge you to follow the recommendation of the AAUP to treat “Professor Salaita’s situation as that of a faculty member suspended [with pay] from his academic responsibilities pending a hearing on his fitness to continue.”

Otherwise, you will provide overwhelming grounds for AAUP censure, of which academics around the world will take note.

Yours sincerely,

Michael Otsuka

There are 4 comments

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  
Please enter an e-mail address