University departments free to hire Kilgore again

In February, the University came under fire after a series of articles revealed that a former criminal, James Kilgore, was working as an adjunct professor in the University’s Center for African Studies program. 

Kilgore was soon after told that his contract would not be renewed for the following school year.  Suspicious of the chain of events, Kilgore, along with other faculty and students, challenged the University’s decision.

Kilgore said he was clear with the University on his background as a member of the Symbionese Liberation Army, which he served time for. 

On Nov. 10, Friends of Kilgore, a group of supporters for the former professor, held a rally outside of the Henry Administration Building urging the Board of Trustees to decide to reinstate Kilgore at its upcoming meeting =on Nov. 13.

Friends of Kilgore were successful in their efforts and it was announced after the meeting that the professor would be allowed to be hired by any University units. 

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    In a previous interview with the The Daily Illini in November, Kilgore said he thinks it’s important the Board of Trustees is not “micromanaging,” and that faculty who have been given the authority and responsibility to make decisions are able to do so. 

    At the time, Kilgore had not received any offers of employment from University units; however he was hopeful of returning to his job with the Center for African Studies. 

    “It just means an opportunity for me to teach, which I really enjoy, and to re-establish my connection to Africa, where I lived for almost two decades,” Kilgore said. “And the Center for African Studies has been very important to me in terms of maintaining that connection.”

    Since the November decision, Kilgore has been hired as an adjunct lecturer by the Global Studies program. Kilgore will teach an eight-week class during the 2015 spring semester titled,  “Sweat Shops or Flat World Opportunities? Exploring the New World of Work.”

    Kilgore declined to comment on his employment at this time. 

    Abigale can be reached at [email protected].