Philosophy department weighs in: No confidence
URBANA — Another University of Illinois academic department has approved a vote of no confidence in university leaders in wake of the decision to not hire controversial professor Steven Salaita.
The UI Department of Philosophy today issued the following resolution.
“Whereas the recent words and actions of Chancellor Phyllis Wise, President Robert Easter, and the Board of Trustees in connection with 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 faculty of the Department of Philosophy at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign declares its lack of confidence in the leadership of the current Chancellor, President, and Board of Trustees. according to Kirk Sanders, associate professor and department chair.
The department’s action follows a similar vote by the American Indian Studies Program on Friday.
A faculty search committee last year recommended the UI hire the American Indian Studies and Arab American Studies scholar, and Salaita was expected to arrive on campus this month. But a few weeks before the start of the semester, Wise and Vice resident for Academic Affairs Christophe Pierre told Salaita they would not forward his appointment to the board in September for formal approval. That decision came after a backlash to angry tweets Salaita posted in July about Israel.
His case has since attracted widespread attention in the media and among academics.
Since the vote by American Indian Studies Program on Friday, faculty in that department have been asking other departments to support their action. An American Indian Studies professor on Monday asked the Senate Executive Committee, a group of mostly faculty leaders on the Urbana campus’s Academic Senate, to hold a no confidence vote in the chancellor. The Senate committee did not take any action on Monday; chair Roy Campbell said any such proposal would need to be on the agenda in advance of the meeting, per the Illinois Open Meetings Act.