Scholars cancel U. of Illinois speaking engagements following job denial
- In response to the University of Illinois' decision to rescind a job offer to Steven Salaita because of critical and controversial tweets directed at Israel, University of Delaware philosophy and legal studies professor David Blacker and University of Minnesota history professor Allen Isaacman canceled speaking canceled scheduled lectures at the institution due to its "enforced silence."
- In addition, the Education Justice Project canceled its National Conference on Higher Education in Prison in response to the controversy.
- Chancellor Phyllis Wise has been the subject of a no-confidence vote from American Indian studies faculty — Salaita had accepted a tenured position in that department — but claims her decision to pull back the job offer wasn't related to Salaita's tweets.
Academic freedom is at the center of this controversy. As the Chronicle of Higher Ed quotes Isaacman's cancelation letter: "The University of Illinois’s recent decision to disregard its prior commitment to appoint Professor Salaita confirms my fear of the administration’s blatant disregard for academic freedom."
This isn't the first (and likely not the last) time Twitter has found itself in the middle of such a debate. Last year, University of Kansas journalism professor David Guth came under fire for an anti-NRA tweet following the Navy Yard Shooting in Washington, D.C. He was placed on paid leave for close to seven months and eventually returned to the classroom, but the university also put in place a controversial policy that would allow professors to be terminated for "improper" social media posts.
- Chronicle of Higher Education U. of Illinois Feels Backlash From Scholars Angered by Salaita Case
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