University departments issue no confidence vote in Chancellor Phyllis Wise

By Josh Winters

Update (2:02 p.m. Friday, Aug. 29) — Another vote of no confidence in Chancellor Wise and the Board of Trustees was issued on Wednesday, this time from the Department of Asian American Studies.

A post from the department explains that the decision to cast the vote stems not just from the withdrawal of Salaita’s position from AIS, but also from recent press coverage revealing a link between the University’s decision and pressure from donors and alumni.

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On Thursday, the Department of Philosophy issued a vote of no confidence in University President Robert Easter, Chancellor Phyllis Wise and the Board of Trustees after professor Steven Salaita’s job offer was rescinded.

The following resolution, released by the department Thursday, explains that the vote was issued in response to the University’s decision to rescind Salaita’s offer to join the American Indian Studies, AIS, program.

“The revocation of an offer of employment to Dr. Steven Salaita betray a culpable disregard not only for academic freedom and free speech generally, but also for the principles of shared governance and established protocols for hiring, tenure, and promotion,” the resolution stated, signed by Kirk Sanders, associate professor and chair of the department.

The Department of Philosophy joins AIS as the second academic department to issue a no confidence in Chancellor Wise. However, AIS did not include President Easter and the Board of Trustees in their vote.

In the vote of no confidence, AIS said that they strongly disagreed with the removal of Salaita from their department.

“With this vote of no confidence, the faculty of UIUC’s American Indian Studies program 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,” the resolution stated.

Josh can be reached at [email protected]