Salaita Decision Reaffirmed

It does not appear that the University of Illinois will be altering the decision to rescind Steven Salaita’s job offer. From a post at the “Chancellor’s Blog”:

The decision regarding Prof. Salaita was not influenced in any way by his positions on the conflict in the Middle East nor his criticism of Israel….

We are a university built on precisely this type of dialogue, discourse and debate. What we cannot and will not tolerate at the University of Illinois are personal and disrespectful words or actions that demean and abuse either viewpoints themselves or those who express them. We have a particular duty to our students to ensure that they live in a community of scholarship that challenges their assumptions about the world but that also respects their rights as individuals…

A Jewish student, a Palestinian student, or any student of any faith or background must feel confident that personal views can be expressed and that philosophical disagreements with a faculty member can be debated in a civil, thoughtful and mutually respectful manner. Most important, every student must know that every instructor recognizes and values that student as a human being. If we have lost that, we have lost much more than our standing as a world-class institution of higher education.

The rest of the post is here (via Michael Otsuka). A separate article reports:

Wise’s message was followed up later in the day by one signed by University of Illinois trustees, President Robert Easter, University Senates Conference Chair Donald Chambers and several top-level administrators.

The authors of the letter endorsed Wise’s statement and stated they “write today to add our collective and unwavering support of Chancellor Wise and her philosophy of academic freedom and free speech tempered in respect for human rights – these are the same core values which have guided this institution since its founding.”

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