Philosophy department weighs in: No confidence

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.

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Jam wrote on August 28, 2014 at 1:08 pm

Basically if the faculty is not accountable, to the Chancellor,  President, or Board of Trustees just who are they accountable to for their words and actions.  I cannot think of any other job where somebody does not have some accountibility to someone.

Academic freedom is the tool by which liberal ideology has so permeated the university system particularly in the liberal arts colleges.    



A Very Busy Mom wrote on August 28, 2014 at 1:08 pm

It seems like the tail wagging the dog here.


nschne393 wrote on August 28, 2014 at 1:08 pm

If a student used the language Salaita used in class, the same professors would be calling for suspensions, expulsions, etc... for disrupting the learning process.

99characters wrote on August 28, 2014 at 2:08 pm

What about getting any of the "Engineering" departments to issue the "No Confidence" resolution?

spangwurfelt wrote on August 28, 2014 at 4:08 pm

They're too busy actually doing things.

Sid Saltfork wrote on August 29, 2014 at 1:08 pm

What a slam against the other departments on campus !   No confidence in the chancellor over academic freedom of speech by the professor has to be wrong according to you because the professor criticized Israel.  If it had been Russia, Iran, or North Korea; you would have not complained.  Your prejudice is as transparent as a cling wrap dress.

spangwurfelt wrote on August 30, 2014 at 7:08 am

Criticize Israel all you want, just don't use the imagery and language of antisemitism (i.e. dual loyalties) when you do. Some criticism of Israel isn't antisemitic, and some is. Sorry that you can't tell the difference, because that leaves you fundamentally ill-equipped to understand the issue here. 

Sid Saltfork wrote on September 02, 2014 at 10:09 am

I used dual citizenships, not "dual loyalities".  However to a propagandist like yourself, it makes little difference.  I understand the issue here clearly.  You will go to any length to defend Israel's war crimes against civilians including children.  America needs to look closely at the actions of Israel without antisemitism.  America, also, needs to stand up to antisemitism accusations when criticising Israel.

spangwurfelt wrote on September 03, 2014 at 12:09 pm

Poor Sid, digging deeper and deeper.

The accusation of dual citizenship, especially the way you made it, *is* the accusation of dual loyalties.

And you still don't get it. It's a free country, criticize Israel all you want. But if you can't do it without rehashing antisemitic rhetoric, expect to be called out on it.

Sid Saltfork wrote on September 04, 2014 at 2:09 pm

It would appear that you have no "dual loyalties".  They are all one, and the same for you.  Dual citizenship is not dual loyality.  Again, you taint criticism of Israel with anti-semitism.  Same old politically correct threat.  You play the stereotype that you complain others of having very well.  

spangwurfelt wrote on September 05, 2014 at 6:09 am

Only a fool thinks that criticism of Israel is never antisemitic, just as only a fool thinks criticism of Obama is never racist. When you fall into antisemitic rhetoric, you don't get a free pass just because you were talking about Israel. But it's the folks who do that, and don't understand that they're doing it, who fight the hardest against that realization. 

moderndaycowboy wrote on August 28, 2014 at 2:08 pm

South of Green, and north of Gregory.

jdmac44 wrote on August 28, 2014 at 2:08 pm

Interesting that they cite lack of shared governance, being that the Chancellor simply played her role in the chain of governance.  I suppose she's just supposed to rubber stamp whatever comes along?  This is rather like Obama complaining of inaction on the part of Congress to "get things done", when in fact non-action is a viable action, when there isn't consensus to move forward on a bill, due to lack of support by the constituency, the decision has been made and the bill shouldn't move foward.  In the same way, the Chancellor is given her role for a reason and it's not simply to go along with what an opposition wants.

GeneralLeePeeved wrote on August 28, 2014 at 2:08 pm

Aren't they cute?  ...all these professors with their panties in a bunch.  They can spit and yell and put on the biggest dog and pony show they want, but, when push comes to shove, not a SINGLE one of them will quit over their "outrage".

Trailmom wrote on August 28, 2014 at 2:08 pm

UI Faculty and students: When you are all done being outraged over the retracted offer, could you please go back to the classroom? 

Thanks from everyone who pays tuition, and the taxpayers who are supporting the university.

sweet caroline wrote on August 28, 2014 at 3:08 pm

Would these loud-mouthed whiners be so outraged if the tables were turned?  If a Jewish or Christian professor posted racist, hate-filled, inflammatory lies about Palestinians, resulting in the professor's employment offer being rescinded, would the protestors turn out in that professor's defense?  Of course they would not.  They're making fools of themselves and wasting their own time when they should be in the classroom learning or teaching.  Isn't that why they're at the university?

Danno wrote on August 28, 2014 at 6:08 pm

Right, Sweet. Also, The University of Illinois is a 'Land Grant Instituition.' Free Speech is inherent to responsibility of said 'speech.' Perhaps, if not private Hillsdale College (really good at Constituitional Studies/Research), a private Ivy League college might be appopriate. I, for one, upport the U o I Board of Trustees on this. A song just came to me. Ozark Mountain Daredevils 'Chicken Train'. HaHa

Importantlocalopinion wrote on August 28, 2014 at 8:08 pm

Legally, its a pretty open and shut case of infringement of speech by the state, this will cost the university some money.

SaintClarence27 wrote on August 29, 2014 at 4:08 pm

No, it's really not. It's actually clearly not any kind of a case, nor will it result in any kind of payout. Where are you getting this idea?

dlgreen50 wrote on August 29, 2014 at 11:08 am

You (Sweet Caroline) simply assume that Salaita posted "racist, hate-filled, inflammatory lies." But in fact his views, however pointedly expressed, are quite honest and truthful regarding Israeli depravity. Many Jews like myself recognize that. Israel must indeed "own" the fact that it values its ethnocracy/theocracy more than the lives of Palestinian children. And of course I've heard hundreds of scurrilously untrue assertions made by supporters of Israel on this campus over the years, including by Richard Herman. In what world is it that you think these lies have resulted in anyone's being dismissed (Herman was of course dismissed for other reasons), resulting in your hypothetical non-response from supporters of Palestinian rights? It's simply inconceivable that anyone would be dismissed, no less even criticized, by campus administrators for espousing the standard nonsense that predominates discourse about Israel and Palestine on this campus. Campus administrators are in bed with Israeli/Zionist depravity. Just own it already. And of course it's interesting how everyone commenting does so anonymously. What's up with that?--David Green

spangwurfelt wrote on August 30, 2014 at 8:08 am

"And of course it's interesting how everyone commenting does so anonymously. What's up with that?--David Green"

Not everyone is captive to such a noisily clamoring ego. We really don't care particularly deeply what you've posted on some obscure website somewhere, and it's maybe a little dysfunctional that you think anyone would.

BruckJr wrote on August 28, 2014 at 4:08 pm

Kirk Sanders, why not resign in protest?

rsp wrote on August 28, 2014 at 6:08 pm

Salaita wasn't fired for posting tweets, the efforts to get him fired were already going on before that. Jewish students emailing the Chancellor about how uncomfortable they would be with a Palestinian professor at the U of I. And what about that donor threatening to withhold money? But what's that old line? Repeat a lie enough times and people will believe it. Sure, somebody's racist.

spangwurfelt wrote on August 28, 2014 at 6:08 pm

"Jewish students emailing the Chancellor about how uncomfortable they would be with a Palestinian professor at the U of I."

Another assertion that the evidence doesn't bear out. It is simply a lie, a flat out lie, to claim that the problem people had with Salaita is that he's Palestinian.

You are rapidly eating through your credibility limit.

rsp wrote on August 28, 2014 at 10:08 pm

"If I happen to register for Mr. Salaita's course, how could I respectfully engage in conversation and learn material?" asked one email. Another said: "As a Jew, I do not feel comfortable knowing that the University of Illinois allows and supports this sort of behavior. I am currently an incoming senior, and while this is not the first time I have felt anti-Semitism at the University of Illinois, this is by far the most extreme and hurtful case."


It makes better reading than Dey's column. All about the back dealing with the donors.

spangwurfelt wrote on August 29, 2014 at 8:08 am

No cigar. Neither of the things you quoted objected to Salaita *for being Palestinian,* which was your false charge. Neither one says *anything* about Salaita's ethnicity.

Do you now withdraw your false charge?

That is, anyone who can read can see how you pull things out of your ear. It's astonishing the damage Salaita's "supporters" are doing to his case by fundamentally misrepresenting what it's actually about. You've just given another great example of that.

Sid Saltfork wrote on August 29, 2014 at 1:08 pm

"the evidence doesn't bear out"?  Until there is transparency over this issue; no one can assert that it happened, or it did not happen.  Your credibility has been shot with your defensive comments without "evidence".

SaintClarence27 wrote on August 29, 2014 at 4:08 pm

Yes, he can't prove a negative. But there is no evidence that it was some Jewish cabal at the University of Illinois that refused to hire Salita on the basis of him being Palestinian.

Joe American wrote on August 28, 2014 at 7:08 pm

Ooooh, heavens no.  The Philosophy department has spoken.  I'm sure the proverbial shaking in your shoes is reverberating throughout the campus administration now.


Rocky7 wrote on August 30, 2014 at 4:08 am

Isn't it strange that a department that specializes in the writings of learned individuals such as Plato, Kant, Spinoza and Hegel,amongst other great thinkers, are  supporting   an individual whose tweets can be construed as borderline "Hate-Speech." In most major university circles, including UIUC,  'hate speech' is not permitted and dealt with severely.

Reykjavik wrote on September 03, 2014 at 9:09 am

The Philosophy Dept ranks what in the US?  Below #100?  In that case, their inability to evaluate personnel is documented.