LIVE: Wilson on Salaita: 'We were not going to hire him'

LIVE: Wilson on Salaita: 'We were not going to hire him'

Read the full updated story here.


CHICAGO — Interim Chancellor Barbara Wilson says the UI never considered reinstating Professor Steven Salaita to his job in American Indian Studies as part of the settlement approved today.

“From the beginning, we were pretty clear about what our perspective was on that,” Wilson told reporters after the Board of Trustees’ meeting in Chicago. “We were not going to hire him.”

To Salaita’s critics, Wilson said the university felt some compensation was appropriate.

“I think the university from the beginning recognized that we disrupted Dr. Salaita’s career and made it difficult for his family, so we feel some amount of compensation is reasonable and appropriate,” Wilson said.

Salaita said the settlement is "an important victory" that "sent a strong message."

"We settled the case against UIUC today, and I am deeply grateful for the support and solidarity from so many individuals and communities," he said. "Together, we sent a strong message to those who would silence Palestine activists and limit speech on campus. The activists, students, academics, and others who spoke up with petitions, demonstrations, and investigations proved that grassroots organizing can make a difference. This is an important victory, even if the bigger fight isn't over. At this point I am ready to move beyond this particular matter and continue doing what I love — teaching, writing, organizing, and contributing in whatever way I can to struggles for justice."

She said both sides were comfortable with the amount of the settlement, negotiated via a federal mediator.

Wilson, who is also dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, where Salaita had many supporters, is hopeful that the settlement can help the campus move on. She said she’s been trying to rebuild trust among faculty since the start of the controversy.

“I think a lot of faculty are ready to move forward. They recognize this has been a really disruptive and challenging case.”

Wilson has talked with the American Association of University Professors about the settlement, a key element of getting the AAUP’s censure of the campus lifted. That can’t happen until the national AAUP meeting next June, and other steps will be required, she said.

In a prepared statement, Wilson said:

“The settlement allows Dr. Salaita to move on with his career and allows our campus to focus on ensuring excellence in teaching, research and public engagement.

“Today’s an important step in our efforts to see the AAUP censure lifted and I will continue to work with the local and national chapters about further actions that we can take to achieve that goal.

“I hope the settlement brings some closure to a challenging period for our entire community. I truly believe it marks a point in time when we can collectively shift our conversations from what has happened in the past to where we want to go in the future.

“Some of the discussions, debates and disagreements of this past year have been difficult ones. But I will also say we’ve learned a great deal from them. I’m hopeful that the knowledge and experience that we’ve gained can be used to improve our processes and policies and to further the national dialogue about issues of scholarship and academic freedom in the 21st century.”


Trustees approved the settlement with Salaita.

Tim Koritz voted against it, saying the board acted "in best interests of students" in withdrawing his job offer.

Trustees also voted to drop a $225,000 retention bonus for President Timothy Killeen and approved interim athletic director Paul Kowalczyk.


Trustees signed an oversized copy of a resolution urging state lawmakers to take "immediate" action to approve a 2016 budget, four months into the fiscal year.

The board secretary called each trustee up to the podium to sign, including Gov. Bruce Rauner, who was not on hand but drew a laugh from the audience when his name was called.

Rauner's 2016 budget includes $209 million in funding cuts for the university.

The resolution notes that the UI has taken steps to cut spending, improve efficiency and plan for "shared sacrifice" in response to the state's financial challenges. Administrators have announced cuts of $20 million from the Urbana campus, including academic programs.



The UI will actually pay out $875,000 for the legal settlement with Steven Salaita. He will get $600,000 but his attorneys will receive about $275,000 in legal fees.

Attorney Anand Swaminathan of Loevy and Loevy in Chicago said the size of the settlement is an "implicit admission of the strength of Professor Salaita’s constitutional and contractual claims."

Salaita, who is now working on a one year university appointment in Beirut, had continued to press for his job at the UI.

Swaminathan said Salaita was "ready to move on."

"He is very happy with this settlement and very happy to look forward and focus on his academic career," Swaminathan told The News-Gazette.

"He has scored a major victory for those who care about free speech and academic freedom. In the future, university administrators will have to think twice before they choose the interests of wealthy donors and alumni over upholding their constitutional obligations. This legal victory could not have been possible without the support of a large and committed movement of activists and academics," Swaminathan said in a release.



Steven Salaita will walk away from the battle over his aborted appointment with a $600,000 check from the University of Illinois.

Details of the UI's legal settlement with Salaita were released this morning, shortly before the board was scheduled to vote on the agreement.

It provides Salaita with a $600,000 lump sum payment, but he will not be rehired by the UI. The university also agrees to cover his legal costs of $275,000. Salaita agrees to withdraw his state and federal legal claims against the university.

"The University believes that reaching a settlement with Dr. Salaita is the most reasonable option to fully and finally conclude all of the pending issues," interim Chancellor Barbara Wilson said in a release. "Although the amount is significant, it is less than what we would spend if the case were to continue and proceed to trial over the next year."

Salatia sued the university after losing his tenured faculty appointment in August 2014 because of his controversial tweets about Israel.

"Considerable time and energy have gone into this case and it is time now to move forward. This negotiated agreement will allow the Urbana campus to focus on our goals of excellence in teaching, research and public engagement," Wilson said. "And it will allow Dr. Salaita to move forward with his academic career."

U.S. District Judge Wayne Andersen helped mediate the settlement, according to the UI.

The UI has racked up $1.3 million in legal costs for the Salaita case, according to spokesman Tom Hardy.

Wilson and UI President Timothy Killeen had made the settlement a priority in recent weeks, hoping to resolve the 14-month controversy.

It is considered a key part of the UI's effort to get a censure lifted by the American Association of University Professors.

Salaita was initially hired in October 2013, but his appointment with withdrawn by the university in August 2014 after he posted a series of provocative and sometimes-profane tweets about Israel over its invasion of Gaza.

The decision led to academic boycotts and some votes of no-confidence in former Chancellor Phyllis Wise, who stepped down in August of this year over an email controversy that included exchanges about the Salaita case.


Staff writer Julie Wurth is in Chicago for today's full Board of Trustees meeting.

On today's agenda

Salaita settlement: Details of the legal settlement with Steven Salaita will be made public when the board votes on the agreement, but it's not expected to include a UI job. Salaita, a former Virginia Tech professor, sued the UI after he lost his tenured faculty appointment in August 2014 following his controversial tweets about Israel.

Killeen's contract: This item would strike a $225,000 retention bonus, payable after five years, from the UI president's contract. Timothy Killeen opted to remove the perk after the UI came under fire for initially agreeing to give former Chancellor Phyllis Wise a $400,000 retention payment when she resigned in August.

Interim AD: Trustees will act on the appointment of Paul Kowalczyk as interim athletic director, following the departure of Mike Thomas on Monday. Kowalczyk, who has been senior associate athletic director, will be paid $295,000.

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mgd wrote on November 12, 2015 at 10:11 am



What a massive waste of money. Nobody is worth this fuss and the base is $600,000 plus gazillions in legal fees, with over a million wasted by the university.

The only way to make money working here is to get canned and paid off.

I knew that this was what would probably happen, but seeing it in print changes things. In such a lean year, this is terrible.

And, once again, no mention of the students, their feelings, their interest in the situation. They are probably just getting used to seeing people ride off into the sunset with their money and the money that was set aside for them. 

As the buildings crumble...........  

Deeply discouraging.

Mary Gates DeRosier

andrewscheinman wrote on November 12, 2015 at 10:11 am

So case closed, no investigation by the Illinois AG's office of Wise's destruction of evidence or purposeful circumvention of FOIA law?  No release of the ethics report on that destruction and avoidance?

No holding Wise to account, or Ade or any of the rest of them?  Over $2M spent on the Salaita Case (600K to Salaita, 1.3M on UIUC legal fees and another 275K for Salaita's fees), but, sure, bury the real facts, bury them deep.

Because the best way to "move forward" on this and learn from it is to settle the case using money that UIUC shouldn't be spending on this, and, by spending that money they don't have (except at student costs), bury the reality of what happened so deep that it can happen again.

And again.

And again.

champaign61821 wrote on November 12, 2015 at 11:11 am

They better go back to those same "wealthy donors" and demand another $2 million to pay for this mess. Get Wise to pitch in. What an embarrassment this all has been.

Cstraight wrote on November 12, 2015 at 11:11 am

It really is! smdh

Molly1 wrote on November 12, 2015 at 11:11 am

It is simply wrong that Wise was offered only 2/3 of the amount that was given to Salita.

Wise did great things for the U of I for years, and misstepped a little in trying to keep a racist ranter off of the prestigious U of I campus.

All Salita ever did for the U of I, was to moan and complain after his tweets got him to lose his perspective job.

The US Constitution allows you to have free speech, it doesn’t say that you will not suffer from your racist rants.


Phil S wrote on November 12, 2015 at 11:11 am

Don't cry.  Wise still has a plum job at the U of Illinois making approximately $300,000 per year.

annabellissimo wrote on November 12, 2015 at 4:11 pm

You wrote, "All Salita ever did for the U of I, was to moan and complain after his tweets got him to lose his perspective job." But that's not all that Salaita ever did for the U of I. He also sullied the University of Illinois' reputation, was the fulcrum around which several upper-level administrators resigned from administration, garnered an AAUP censure against the university, made the U of I the focus of academic discussions that demean its institutional character, distort its history and taint its achievments. Don't get me wrong; I think the administration handled this very poorly but not in the withdrawal decision, rather in the weak, negligent decision to offer the guy a job in that program in the first place. The University of Illinois needs more people who actually believe that the institution has been great and should be great again, and fewer who just spout PR lines. The former kind of leader would not have offered Salaita or the likes of Salaita (or Kilgore or Ayers or other mediocre but notorious and infamous sorts). With the lunatic Illinois government members, of all persuasions, perfectly willing to see all of Illinois institutions go down the tube for their respective "causes" and the University of Illinois being one of the institutions under that kind of attack, while also suffering from internal attacks from some groups who are also perfectly willing to see the University of Illinois go down the tube for their own respective "causes", it is time for someone(s) with sense and academic integrity to focus hard on what is worthwhile and excellent at the University and enhance that. Focus on the great faculty, not the blowhard Salaitas, et al He and his supporters will still be out there denigrating the University of Illinois in speeches and writings, now with a nice chunk of Illinois money in hand, so it will behoove Illinois supporters to counter bilge with truth at every opportunity.

Increasingly it does seem that a way to fame and riches at Illinois is not to do right, not to do good, not to be a genuine scholar, not to respect your employer and your university, not to enhance your field of study, not to be an excellent teacher, but instead to be a loudmouth promoter, or practitioner, of violence, hate, nihilism, anarchy, dishonesty, revisionist history, or detestable criminality.

Let's hope that the future at Illinois holds much better leaders than the past has done.

Sid Saltfork wrote on November 12, 2015 at 5:11 pm

Spoken like a good Zionist propagandist.  Your second to last paragraph sums up your poor attempt at propaganda.  What did Salaita say that was revisionist history?  Please explain so the readers can compare it to Bibi's blaming the Arabs for Germany's crimes against humanity. 

"No criticism of Israel allowed at the State of Illinois' "flagship" university !"  That is what most Americans across the country will take away from the Salaita Incident.   More, and more people daily are seeing the difference between anti-semitism, and anti-Israel.  Now, the flagship will be known as a racist university.

Molly1 wrote on November 13, 2015 at 10:11 am

Sid, I think that you think more about Israel than I do.

I know that Israel has been a long time ally, and an ally in an area of the world where we really need one.  I hold no ill will against them, but it is not in my top 20 vacation locations either.

Had Salita made disparaging remarks against Canada, England, Ireland, China, or any other country with the language that he used against Israel, then I would have been just as upset.

Not about politics or about religion, but that members of the U of I faculty wanted to hire someone with that kind of blatant racism, that would think nothing of spouting off to a limited national audience, wishing grizzly deaths on all members of a race that he really didn't know.  That is what racism is, judging a person by their cover.  If we shouldn't judge a book by its cover, then I feel that we sure as heck shouldn't judge a person by what latitude and longitude that they live on or the color of the skin or where or if they choose to worship a supreme being.

And geez, especially someone holding these views teaching in American Indian Studies.  How many Native Americans were massacred, much like Salita recommended, simply because of who their families were, the color of their skin, and because white European transplants thought of them as 'savages'?

Had Salita been teaching math, science, or engineering, I probably would have been less likely to speak out about him, but he espoused all of the hatred, all of the bigotry, all of the quick tempered lashing out with malice that those who murdered off the rightful heirs to this land did. 

He was the wrong person for this job from the day that he first made contact with the University of Illinois. 

I suppose that we can be grateful that he made these terrible remarks when he did, and that three years from now when he spouts off again, that he is not a faculty member that is entrenched and damn near impossible to terminate.

Personally, I think that U of I should file a civil suit against him for libel, slander, and harm to their reputation.  Not enough to terribly hurt him, but perhaps $600,001, just to return some of the respect for a great university that has been damaged by his uncontrollable temper and uncontrollable fingers.

Sid Saltfork wrote on November 13, 2015 at 12:11 pm

Molly, since you addressed me, I will respond.

Yes, based on your comments I do think that I know more about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict than you do.  It has nothing to do with religion unless you add the ultra-Orthodox settlers into the mix.  It is about a country.  Salaita comments were about Israel, and it's atrocities toward children.  It was about indiscriminate bombing, and naval shelling of civilians including those in U.N. sancturaires.  It was about Israel's continued illegal land graps on the West Bank which includes burning Palestinian homes in the dark of the night when the families are sleeeping inside.  His comments were not about Jews.  They were about Israel, and it's ultra-Orthodox settler criminals.

Salaita's teaching would have covered the land grabs experienced by indigenous peoples.  That would include the Native Americans.  It is documented history regardless of the Chief mascot.  Yes, he was the wrong choice for the U of I.  The U of I is not a great university as proven now to the rest of internationally, and nationally great universities.  Covering up the e-mails, disregarding court orders, and slander will not improve the university's reputation.

Your last paragraph shows your ignorance.  However, commenting to you is like talking to a wooden post.  Sorry about the uncivil comments, but talking to you is frustrating.

Molly1 wrote on November 13, 2015 at 8:11 pm

I meant that you cared about the religous and political overtones more than I do. 

I am quite aware of much of what is going on in the countries, not really from watching just a single worthless news source in the US however.  I try to keep up with CNN, CBS, the BBC, the AP, and yes the one that liberals hate so much Fox News.  I find it is necessary to gleen information from multiple places in today's world to attempt to get the truth.

Soldiers of Israel may very well be guilty of some of the things that you mentioned, just as some of our US soldiers were responsible for the actions at Abu Graib prison near Baghdad.  This does not mean that the entire country nor race is responsible.  That is discrimination.

And whenever I catch on the news information about these two countries, 80% of the time it is Palestine attacking Israel.  Israel has told its military to stand down many, many times after an attack.  But yes, after putting up with so much on multiple occasions, they do retaliate.  I do not understand why you would expect different. 

If someone is assaulting you or your family in a parking lot, how many strikes do you allow them to have, prior to you defending yourself and your family?  I myself, might allow a single strike, but as soon as I see that the second one is inbound, I will avoid the second strike, and upon seeing a third strike inbound, I will attack with all of my capabilities to disable the attacker.  I would have to believe that I am probably more passive than most human beings, but that is the way that I was raised.

How in the world you could believe in the teaching capabilities of someone that can barely string a few sentences together in an obviously racially biased attack is beyond me.

Frustration comes in trying to defend a position that you either can not, or know in your heart that you are wrong about.

Sid Saltfork wrote on November 14, 2015 at 8:11 am

The key phrase you used is "racially biased".  Salaita in his "frustration" let his anger slip toward "Israelis", not Jews.  Specifically, Israel "settlers" who burnt a toddler to death in his own home, and those shelled in Gaza.  The U.N. condemned the Gaza atrocities, but Israel stated that it would not accept any findings of the investigation.  The child killers, West Bank settlers, were never brought to justice.

Many Israelis condemned the actions.  They want the land grabs in the "occupied territories" to stop.  However, Israel has an influx of ultra-Orthodox believers who want to expand the settlements.  Those who want peace are shouted down.  Think for a second about ISIS who is at the doorstep of West Bank Palestinians.  The Palestinians are Sunni, and ISIS is Shite; but if ISIS gains a foothold among the Palestinians fighting a common enemy, Israel, there will be much more bloodshed.  Why not grant the Palestinians their own land?  They would be a buffer like Jordan against ISIS.

Your assuming that Israel is the victim.  American media, and politicians will promote Israel based on fear, money, and affiliation.  Every wonder how much the 50 some congress representatives got besides their free trip to meet with Bibi in Israel?  Watch the French, or German news on Comcast channel 418?  The news is in English by the way.  Israel has been isolated by the Europeans due to it's persistent land grabbing.  The U.N. has the same opinion.  Only in American is it wrong to criticize a nation based on the political incorrectness of a nation being a religion, Israel.  Mr. Pollard was just released from his life sentence for being a traitor to our country.  He was a Mossad spy giving classified information to Israel.  He had served 30 years.  Bibi requested his release last spring.  After Bibi's recent visit, Pollard was released.

No Molly, your hung up with race and religion based on short headlines.  Israel is not always our ally, and friend.  It is a nation with a history of terrorism, and land grabbing expansion.  It is a nation of settlers land grabbing from the indigenous people.  That was the fear about Salaita.  The other perspective of the indigenous people cannot be taught at a state university due to political incorrectness, and uncivility twittered .about child killers being immune to justice.

johnny wrote on November 14, 2015 at 8:11 pm

Now it's racist not to hate Jews.  You're something else.

Cstraight wrote on November 12, 2015 at 11:11 am

"The only way to make money here is to get canned and get paid off" YOU! have hit the head on the nail and you win the comment of the DAY award! Damn shame! :(

leftylib wrote on November 12, 2015 at 11:11 am

Probably a win for both sides.  U of I didn't want him here and didn't have to admit to any wrongdoing.  Also, most of their dirty laundry may not be seen.  As for Salaita, he got a fairly large settlement.  Hopefully, the university learned something out of all this and will change parts of its hiring process so that this doesn't happen again.  Salaita deserved a settlement out of this.  Now, he can afford to throw polished gemstones instead of rocks.  Him and Beckman can ride off to the sunset together.  Good bye and good riddance.  It's a good day, this subject can start to be put to bed. 

Phil S wrote on November 12, 2015 at 12:11 pm

Will no admission of wrongdoing satisfy the AAUP and take the U of I off their censure list?  This episode isn't *completely* over yet.

wayward wrote on November 12, 2015 at 11:11 am

Honestly, $600K + attorney fees sure doesn't sound like a "major victory" compared to a job with tenure.  Though perhaps it was from the attorney's point of view, since it at least guaranteed that he'd get paid.

ROB McCOLLEY wrote on November 12, 2015 at 6:11 pm
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It's about ten years worth of salary, on average, for an incoming LAS professor, no?

spangwurfelt wrote on November 12, 2015 at 7:11 pm

$600K works out to about seven years at $85K/yr, which I think was Salaita's expected salary. So he'll have seven fat years, and then... well, you know how the story goes.

Bulldogmojo wrote on November 12, 2015 at 8:11 pm


Umm No we don't know. Tell us how "the story goes"? Seriously tell us...

spangwurfelt wrote on November 13, 2015 at 6:11 am

Seven years of fat, seven years of lean. Google it if you have to.

Bulldogmojo wrote on November 13, 2015 at 8:11 am


OH from the Babble...can you speak in tongues and tell us what you really meant?

spangwurfelt wrote on November 14, 2015 at 6:11 am

It may astound you to hear this, but not everyone who refers to a Biblical story is a snake-handling maniac.

Sid Saltfork wrote on November 14, 2015 at 8:11 am

Your right.  Most of the time, they use it to justify their own agenda.  It can be, and has been used that way since it was written.  The same applies to the Koran.  God is on everyone's side if they can use it to justify their sins.

You shall reap what you sow.

Bulldogmojo wrote on November 14, 2015 at 11:11 pm


No most of the time they strive to make mega churches that con $600,000 a week selling delusions to the weak minded like Joel O'Steen does or sometimes they move child raping priests around so the law can't catch up with them and then hide in the vatican under a diplomatic passport like Bernard Law or like Anders Breivik they consider themselves self appointed modern nights of the crusade and slaughter an island full of teenagers. How about when Texas Judge William Adams got caught on video whipping his disabled daughter with a belt while shrieking scripture at her.

You may not be a snakle handling maniac but you have no choice but to count them among your ranks and that puts you on all fours with the rest of them. Did you really think it would be otherwise?

I think the DSM sums it up best...DSM "Grandiose delusion Type: delusions of inflated worth....special relationship to a deity"

Since you like quotes here's one,

"As well as a menace to civilization it [Religion] has become a threat to human survival"~ Christopher Hitchens.

Now once again I'll ask you what you really meant by floating that passage, I'm confident you were inferring a veiled meaning, state it or remain as silent as you expect Salaita to be.



leftylib wrote on November 15, 2015 at 9:11 am

Our house speaker Michael Madigan may take offense to what your wrote.  After all, he is an Irish-Catholic.

CptJustice wrote on November 12, 2015 at 11:11 am
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Hush money. We'll never know who are those influential donors who can determine who will be faculty at the U of I.

annabellissimo wrote on November 12, 2015 at 4:11 pm

And your comment, and the many others like it, is exactly the reason why this will never be finished. Salaita was quoted as saying that his name and the University of Illinois are now synonymous. It may prove to be a very grim reality. It is highly unlikely that Illinois will not be a constant theme in his future speeches, writings and teaching jobs. He will use that $600,000 to spew his views, continuing about Israel, the Palestinians, the Native Americans as colonized Palestinians, and now Evil Illinois. Watch his charming "tweets" for what he thinks should happen to Illinois, as he wrote about Israeli Jews. It can't be "hush money" because Salaita will not be "hushed." If he felt no hesitation to write as he did while waiting to begin a job at Illinois, why should he "hush" now? Salaita and "The Chief" - neither will ever be finished, and somehow they will be lumped together, just as Salaita was already doing.

Sid Saltfork wrote on November 12, 2015 at 5:11 pm

Oh no.....  He will damage the flagship.....  

Hopefully, he will tweet and speak in public about the racism at the U of I.  More people will listen now to Israel's atrocities.  More people will see the influence of dual American-Israeli citizens, and Israeli supporters.  Salaita is proof of that.

Thankfully, President Obama sent Bibi back home with his tail between his legs this week.  America has better things here in this country to spend money on than Israel's want, want list.  If Israel wants American money, it should earn it.

everything-bagel wrote on November 12, 2015 at 12:11 pm

Someone total this up along with everything else the University has paid out this year!

Bulldogmojo wrote on November 12, 2015 at 2:11 pm


Victory protected by a secular constitution. 

Now you so called "Christians" who claim a divine right to Jerusalem because it's "Magic" can go back to your idolatry and support of Netanyahu's settler army who kill, steal property and are the Tryannical force with an arsenal paid for by our tax dollars.


Lostinspace wrote on November 12, 2015 at 12:11 pm

Professor Salaita's ideology is irrelevant.  The e-mail business is tangential.  The fact remains that the university attempted to rescind a contract and in so doing violated its own procedures.  That is what cost so much money.

The president has not been with us long.  In that time, people have been fired and demoted, and some I'm sure, are less complacent than they were a few months ago. Now, with a clean start, let us see what President Killeen will do, now that he can truly begin his presidency.

twiceillini wrote on November 12, 2015 at 2:11 pm

The Salaita case is just the most obvious example of how human resources at Illinois are in dire need of fixing. Faculty and staff all over campus are bullied, lied to, and fired each year without due process or accountable actions by career HR administrators all over campus. They are backed by the iron fist of Campus HR and the unbelievably arrogant and well-funded campus legal counsel. And, if you don't think the deck is stacked, try hiring an attorney in Champaign to fight the University. All you're going to hear is "sorry, conflicted."

This was a rare win against a machine that never admits it was wrong.

Barb said that we've learned something from the discussions that resulted from Salaita's dismissal. I'd like to think that we learned caution, humility and compassion in how we treat people, but I know better. We'll go on blindly supporting those who identify and squash the problem people.

It's the Illinois way.

So, enjoy this relaxing moment where a wrong was made right. Just hope you are never fingered as a problem because Illinois "justice" can be swift, expensive, and heartless, if you are not one of the lucky few.

andrewscheinman wrote on November 12, 2015 at 2:11 pm

Speaking as the "clearly crazy [one] with no real work to do" (what Wise called me for filing FOIAs while taking care of my mother (who has dementia) and after trying to VOLUNTEER my time at the Research Park) ... yeah, I can certainly validate that UIUC isn't necessarily very thoughtful about the rights of what they clearly see as "the little people who make it all possible."  Like, you know, the faculty, the adjuncts, the workers, the students who're working while going to school and whose $ get used to support these people ... 

vcponsardin wrote on November 12, 2015 at 2:11 pm

It's too bad that part of Salaita's settlement didn't include the firing of Jim Dey and the closure of the News-Gazette...

Lostinspace wrote on November 12, 2015 at 3:11 pm

Now, now, Clicquot, what would we do without Mr. Pseudo.

annabellissimo wrote on November 12, 2015 at 4:11 pm

vcponsardin: And then where would YOU go to spew your bile? I am grateful for Jim Dey and the News-Gazette in an area where there is a news/communication desert. You're grateful, too, but your innate hatred prevents you from expressing your gratitude to them for letting your predictable hate-filled screeds be published.

Sid Saltfork wrote on November 12, 2015 at 5:11 pm

What are you doing?  Talk about "predictable hate-filled screeds".   Do you ever read your comments before hitting the button?

Rocky7 wrote on November 12, 2015 at 2:11 pm

THE WINNERS REALLY ARE: The Attorneys . Salaita's attorneys get $275K from UIUC which is about 45% of what Salaita got (which was too much also).  UIUC legal costs were over the top.


Cuthbert J. Twillie wrote on November 12, 2015 at 3:11 pm

Since this is a "lump" settlement, how much will get get after taxes?   400k?  He has -0- chance of being hired by an University in the nation.. how many  "Native American Studies" courses are there?  Yes he walked away with money, but the odds of being hired again in the US are fairly remote.////////////

Sid Saltfork wrote on November 12, 2015 at 5:11 pm

Not all American universities are scandal ridden like the U of I.  There are many Native American Studies programs across the country.  The only reason that the U of I created one was to take the heat off of the Chief controversy.  Now, the university has both the Chief and Salaita controversies.  It will hurt the flagship's recruiting of faculty more than it will Salaita.

rsp wrote on November 12, 2015 at 9:11 pm

He's qualified to teach English.

spangwurfelt wrote on November 13, 2015 at 6:11 am

Possibly the most glutted field there is in the humanities.

Molly1 wrote on November 13, 2015 at 10:11 am

From what I read of his tweets, I do not believe that he is qualified to teach English.

Unless it is Street English, slang, and / or diatribe.

wayward wrote on November 12, 2015 at 6:11 pm

Not really.  He would have been making about $80 something, plus benefits.  So it's more like maybe 5 years.  Problem is that there just aren't a lot of tenured faculty positions in ethnic studies to be had, so he could still be out of luck.

Checkyourfacts wrote on November 12, 2015 at 7:11 pm

Skepticy, Mary Gates DeRosier, and Anna Bellisimo:

Here's what would have happened had this gone to trial:  Salaita's lawyers would have subpeonaed personnel records for all new teaching hires for the last 10-20 years.  The same lawyers would have subpeonaed payroll records for the same period of time, looking for the first date these new hires had received a paycheck from the U of I.  Then they would have cross-referenced the first payroll dates with dates these hires were approved by the Board of Trustees.

In all likelihood, they would have found that these new hires started working (and were possibly even paid) before they were approved by the Trustees, blowing up the University's argument that Salaita could/would not have an employment contact until it was approved by the Trustees.

You are welcome to dislike Salaita all you want, but the fact remains that Phyllis Wise, Chris Kennedy, and the donors completely mucked this up.  The U of I is indeed responsible for paying damages, and frankly, I can't believe Salaita let this settle for less than $1,000,000--he was, after all, in a tenured position.  You should be grateful the U of I got off for as cheaply as it did!

(And Andrew Scheinman, I thought you were a lawyer.  I can't believe you hadn't brought this up before.)

Let's hope the U of I reforms its personnel procedures in the future.  There's no reason a person who got a job offer in October of one year should have had to wait until August of the next year for BOT approval.  That approval should be taking place at the next BOT meeting after the offer of employment is extended.

rsp wrote on November 12, 2015 at 9:11 pm

He was originally going to start that January but because he had already agreed to teach scheduled classes that spring semester at Virginia Tech, they all decided he would start the next fall. Having clarified that part, the BOT met at least twice if I'm not mistaken from October to August. There was no reason they couldn't approve hires at those meetings other than tradition.

I also thought the amount was low.

Illiniwek222 wrote on November 12, 2015 at 9:11 pm

Hey Sidd. Didn't you comment on multiple occasions that Salaita was coming out of this with a job at UI? HaHaHaHa. 

Sid Saltfork wrote on November 13, 2015 at 8:11 am

Yes, I did.  I was wrong.

The real losers in this are the taxpayers whose monies support the U of I.  The university repeatedly sought a settlement to prevent the e-mails from becoming public.  The state law forbids a state enity to stone wall, or refuse to release court ordered documents.  The university violated that law in order to protect the involved donors, BOT, and administrators.  No state official, Lisa Madigan, got involved.  It was a pure cover-up.  The university spend $1,300,000.00 on it's legal fees.  It settled for $875,000.00.  Over $2, 000,000.00 to hide it's secret speech.  They were successful with someone else's money.  The citizens will never know now who did what, and why.  I do not see that as a laughing matter.  It should concern you, but I doubt it.

I, also, think that the settlement was low.  However, the man may have thought about the harrassment that his family, and he would face from the likes of you.  It is a victory in that people across this country, and internationally will see that politically correct, reverse racism exists at the "flagship".  It is just another thing that adds to Illinois's corrupt reputation.

andrewscheinman wrote on November 13, 2015 at 2:11 pm

Would you like to know about my c. 15 appeals to the Illinois Attorney General's office regarding UIUC's redactions and withholdings of my FOIAs?  Would you like to hear about how the AG's office apparently talks to UIUC FOIA on a regular basis, and how its been years and years since I've heard ANYTHING from the AG's office, other than their continually shifting denials of my status as a nonprofit or a journalist?

Phil S wrote on November 13, 2015 at 8:11 am

Salaita on his settlement with the University.  Truer words were never spoken:

"Of special interest is the profound contempt of university managers toward employees and certain students (i.e., those who can’t, or won’t, function as passive emissaries of administrative interests). The administrative and donor classes are incapable of real empathy; they instead treat money as an anthropomorphic symbol and view humankind as a volatile commodity. Once we are cognizant of this reality, their seemingly inane and inhumane decisions make perfect sense."


Alumnicat wrote on November 13, 2015 at 4:11 pm

Here's the whole story in a nutshell: Warrior, Menendez, et. al. plotted to establish an anti-Israel beachhead on the UIUC campus, and attempted to sneak the under-qualified Salaita under the radar to do their dirty work. When Salaita opened his big mouth in an act of supreme buffoonery,  the plan went down in flames, but still they kept on, gaining more and more support from fellow academics demanding the misused Salaita get his "job" back. Of course Salaita joined this refrain; he's not that dumb - but he was never after a job, he was after big bucks, and had a whole passel of gullible fools to assist him in his quest. That's right, all you people who gushed and genuflected at every word and gesture from your hero, he's played you for a bunch of suckers and stooges, and sold out. You didn't get one damn thing you were after, but he's laughing all the way to the bank. For all you Salaita supporters, it's going to take at least month to get all the egg off your faces. 

mgd wrote on November 13, 2015 at 5:11 pm


I never said where I stood on hiring Salaita or not. I was speaking generally and as an overview to this entire, bizarre situation.

I want it to be over and all of these big payouts/payoffs to be over.

I will be ashamed and very sorry if the university's reputation is damaged, not that it isn't already.

I cannot imagine that this is enough to satisfy the AAUP. It seems like a pretty lame response.


I think that Salaita should have been hired right away and that Kennedy, et al, really don't understand freedoms that are owed to faculty. They should have realized that they were not to get involved at this level and Wise should have worked this out and not involved them. She should have known.

ALSO, I think all of the employees of the university (except, of course, administrators) should unionize (probably IEA/NEA), so that they are protected from this kind of treatment. I volunteer to help organize them. I have done it before. No one should work in such an unbalanced situation of fear and muzzled speech.


Mary Gates DeRosier

Reykjavik wrote on November 13, 2015 at 10:11 pm

I dont think the Salaita affair is that big of a deal.  Its the kind of titilating news that fuels lots of chatter and conspiracy theories.  If this bungled nonhiring of nonprominent person in a vestigial branch of the UIUC is the worst that happens at this gigantic and illustrious institution, then citizen of Illinois can be assured that their main university is functioning well - classes taught, research conducted, start-ups started, buildings renovated, papers published, out-reach extended, students graduating ...  A pin prick.