U. of Illinois board shoots down Salaita hiring
- The latest chapter in the Steven Salaita saga came Thursday when University of Illinois trustees voted 8-1 not to hire the professor.
- Salaita was offered a tenured position in the school's Native American Studies Program in October 2013, but a series of profane anti-Israel tweets in July and August led Chancellor Phyllis Wise to rescind the job offer, sparking controversy.
- According to The Republic, Salaita's attorney indicated a lawsuit would be imminent if trustees didn't approve the hire.
Also imminent: the continuation of campus protests. Salaita had a number of supporters present at the meeting who, following the vote, yelled "shame on you" at trustees. Two scholars also recently canceled engagements at the university due to the "enforced silence," and the Native American Studies faculty have issue a vote of no confidence in Wise.
What it ultimately comes down to is this: Those backing Salaita believed that he had essentially already been hired and was, as a result, already protected by tenure — the trustee approval vote, to them, was just a formality. While one side should have been more mindful of social media posts, the other could probably have handled the situation in a way that avoided stepping in as big of a hornet's nest.
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