Three departments cast no confidence vote in Wise; AAUP submits letter

By Josh Winters

The University is facing backlash for Chancellor Phyllis Wise and the Board of Trustees’ decision to rescind a job offer to Steven Salaita to join the American Indian Studies program this year. Salaita’s offer was rescinded due to several personal tweets he posted about the Israeli bombing of Palestine. However, in a mass email sent by Wise, she said the decision “was not influenced in any way by his positions on the conflict in the Middle East nor his criticism of Israel.” The decision has sparked statements of no confidence from several campus departments and boycotts from visiting lecturers from across the country.

Dept. of American Indian Studies

Sunday, Aug. 24: Votes no confidence in Wise

The program expressed concerns that they were not a part of the decision-making process to rescind Salaita’s job offer.

“The faculty … also joins the thousands of scholars and organizations in the United States and across the world in seeing the Chancellor’s action as a violation of academic freedom and freedom of speech.”

    Sign up for our newsletter!

    — AIS faculty

    Dept. of Asian American Studies

    Wednesday, Aug. 27: Votes no confidence in Wise, Board of Trustees “The administration’s claims to honor diversity are at odds with the marginalization of academic units …The University continues a superficial endorsement of diversity through its contradictory actions regarding issues of racial injustice and violence.”

    — AAS faculty

    AAUP Letter

    On Friday, Aug. 29, the American Association of University Professors, AAUP, sent a letter to Wise urging her to suspend Salaita with pay until the University’s committee on academic freedom and tenure, CAFT, examines his case.

    “Professor Salaita has incurred major financial expenses since he accepted the University of Illinois offer.”

    — Anita Levy, associate secretary for the AAUP