AAUP looking into Rosenstein's case

AAUP looking into Rosenstein's case

URBANA — A national organization that defends academic freedom is looking into the case of a University of Illinois professor accused of videotaping members of a pro-Chief Illiniwek group in a State Farm Center bathroom.

The American Association of University Professors, which placed the UI on its "censure" list for two years because of the Steven Salaita case, wrote to Chancellor Robert Jones on Thursday about his decision to place Professor Jay Rosenstein on paid administrative leave while the campus reviews the Jan. 22 incident.

The letter from the AAUP's Anita Levy suggests that the campus may have violated Rosenstein's right to academic due process under AAUP standards for disciplinary action against a faculty member and raised the prospect of future censure.

"When we last wrote in June 2017, it was our happy duty to report that the University of Illinois at Urbana had been removed from the American Association of University Professor’s list of censured administrations," Levy's letter says. "We write now less happily because members of the UIUC faculty have advised us of the January 22, 2018, placement of Professor Jay Rosenstein on paid administrative leave and thus removal from his teaching and other academic duties.

“We understand that Professor Rosenstein was not afforded an opportunity to respond to the action, the basis for which was his arrest for using his cellphone to videotape without permission a student dressed as controversial UIUC mascot Chief Illiniwek in a public restroom. We understand further that Illinois county officials have declined to prosecute Professor Rosenstein on the charges, and that the university is conducting its own investigation under its code of conduct,” the letter said.

Rosenstein was arrested for unauthorized videotaping but later released without charge. He has said he was trying to determine whether State Farm Center employees were helping the student who dresses up like the Chief at Illini games. Rosenstein, a professor of media and cinema studies, is working on an update of his award-winning documentary about the Chief controversy.

Jones and other UI officials have argued that paid administrative leave is allowed under state personnel rules while the campus decides whether to sanction Rosenstein, though UI faculty members have challenged that interpretation.

In her letter, Levy said under generally accepted AAUP guidelines, any action to separate a faculty member from teaching or other academic responsibilities “prior to demonstration of stated cause in an appropriate proceeding is considered to be a suspension,” which is justified only if the faculty member poses “immediate harm” to colleagues or others.

Any suspension that is not followed by immediate reinstatement or the opportunity for a hearing represents “a summary dismissal in violation of academic due process,” she wrote.

“No threat of immediate harm has been suggested in Professor Rosenstein’s case. It seems clear that he has thus not been afforded the safeguards of academic due process called for under these generally accepted standards,” she wrote.

Jones has pointed to the privacy concerns related to taping in a public bathroom, saying they don’t comply with the UI’s Code of Conduct.

Levy referred to the AAUP’s 1940 Statement of Principles on Academic Freedom and Tenure, jointly drafted by the AAUP and the Association of American Colleges and Universities and endorsed by other education associations.

Levy said relevant portions of the UI’s own statutes on “Severe Sanctions Other Than Dismissal” generally follow those guidelines, requiring campus senate involvement and hearings before any disciplinary action is taken.

“If the facts as we have recounted them are essentially accurate, we urge Professor Rosenstein’s reinstatement to his normal faculty duties. As to any further action in his case, we urge that it be consistent with the procedural standards we have set forth,” Levy wrote.

Respoding to the letter Thursday, Jones said, “As I’ve said before, this is a non-disciplinary administrative leave with pay. I feel comfortable with the process we’re using.”

Levy told Jones the AAUP’s concerns were based on information from UI faculty members and media accounts, and “we recognize that you may have other information that might enhance our understanding of what has occurred. We would accordingly welcome your response.”

"I am incredibly grateful that so many of my faculty colleagues are looking out for me. The faculty have always been the very best part of this university," Rosenstein said Thursday.

The AAUP placed the UI under censure in 2015 following the university’s decision the previous summer to withdraw a tenured job offer to Salaita, then a Virginia Tech professor, following his inflammatory tweets about Israel. Salaita sued the university to get his job back but later reached an out-of-court settlement.

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GLG wrote on February 01, 2018 at 4:02 pm

"academic freedom" is one thing breaking a state law is something else. 


Hey Jay are you going to sue or are you working on some kind of "Out of court settlement"?

cjw61822@hotmail.com wrote on February 01, 2018 at 4:02 pm

So  the faculty   group  will come out in favor of NOT suspending someone who take videos in bathrooms.




In the mean time, tell me again how Capt. Ahab is being harmed by staying at home while getting paid?


At least the folks who attend U of I games can go without fear that Capt Ahab will follow them into the bathroom and video.

Innocent_Primate wrote on February 01, 2018 at 4:02 pm

One can almost hear the Illinois version of Henry II in the background, "How long, dear Lord ? Who will rid me of this meddlesome Chief ?"

The Chief — the gift that keeps on giving.

When are we going to bury this once and for all ?

Illiniwek222 wrote on February 01, 2018 at 5:02 pm

You mean bury Rosenstein? You can't be asserting that the Chief caused him to whip out his camera in a men's room.

Innocent_Primate wrote on February 01, 2018 at 5:02 pm

No. Regardless of who is right or wrong, I'm simply saying it's another episode in the continuing saga of "The Chief", a saga which gives the U. of I. a black eye at every turn.

byrdslover wrote on February 02, 2018 at 1:02 pm

Can you read?  Apparently not.  
The AAUP's concerns are about following proper PROCEDURES.  It has nothing to do with guilt or innocence.
Ever heard of something in US law called a "mistrial"?  Same thing: proper procedures must be followed.

loopillini wrote on February 01, 2018 at 4:02 pm

"As to any further action in his case, we urge that it be consistent with the procedural standards we have set forth." 

Oh really? Your standards, not the law in the State of Illinois? It's time these people at UIUC start to realize who they work for!

byrdslover wrote on February 02, 2018 at 1:02 pm

The AAUP is not an arm of the US or State judicial system.  Difficult to understand, I know.

OrlandoIllini wrote on February 01, 2018 at 4:02 pm

Apparently many college professors think other professors have a right to record video of people in public restrooms without their knowledge or permission. Perhaps many of them do it.


byrdslover wrote on February 02, 2018 at 1:02 pm

Many?  Name them.  I'll wait.

annabellissimo wrote on February 01, 2018 at 4:02 pm

".... looking into the case of a University of Illinois professor accused of videotaping members of a pro-Chief Illiniwek group in a State Farm Center bathroom." "He has said he was trying to determine whether State Farm Center employees were helping the student who dresses up like the Chief at Illini games."

Translation: A University of Illinois professor videotaped PEOPLE in a public restroom because he decided that HIS motivation superseded the LAW.

What happens if the next University of Illinois professor takes his/her camera into a public restroom anywhere at all on campus to film people in a public restroom without their permission because he is "trying to determine" what color underwear they are wearing because he/she is making a documentary on underwear color choices and he has made "documentaries" before.

Reitz, as usual, made a decision not to prosecute and the AAUP is using that as part of their questioning of the UIUC's decision.

"Salaita sued the university to get his job back but later reached an out-of-court settlement." It was not "his job." He had not yet been officially hired. He had reasonable expectation of being hired, once the Board approved, but it was NOT yet "his job,"

Take the NCAA and consider their ham-handed threats to the UIUC about "the Chief" versus their treatment of UNC and actual ACADEMIC fraud at the most fundamental level of higher education; versus their treatment of the "University" of Louisville and the "recruitment" of "students" using prostitutes, strippers, etc.; versus Bruce Pearl moving from "university" to "university" always dragging charges of unethical cheating practices along with him; versus Michigan State and the long list of sexual assault charges, Penn State and that horrific list of pedophilia, the cover-ups and lies among all those "institutions; versus the Indian on a Horse with a Flaming Spear the use of whose belligerent imagery generates LOTS of money to a Florida tribe  - on and on and on and on - but it's the University of Illinois that lies down, whimpers and says "ok, ok... we give up....don't be mad at us....we'll eradicate all images, all songs, all thought, all sub-conscious ideation of that vile, horrible guy in buckskin who dances to drum-beat music in a once Indian-visited prairie region named after an Indian tribe with Indian references everywhere, including a war and a statue overlooking the Mississippi River (get rid of it FAST!! It hurts!!!). The UIUC bows and scrapes because a small, loud group of bullies used intimidation and extortion methods to make it so.

Then came Salaita, someone who should never have been offered a job for a whole lot of reasons, but he was, by some with an agenda that had nothing whatsoever with "American Indian studies" taught by a Palestinian-American English professor with a loud and persistent record of activism against Israel "Zionists" to him and to anti-Semites, and supporting anything Palestinians do, even endorsing killing of "Zionists." And again the intimidation and extortion methods came to the fore from the small, loud group of bullies forcing the UIUC to bow and scrape to the AAUP. "Academic freedom" they shout, while embracing the totalitarian, anti-intellectual BDS!

Here we are again, but this time that same small, loud group of bullies is defending their professor who is so self-righteous as to violate the law on behalf of all of our sensibilities that are being so egregiously offended by "the Chief" and all vestigial thought or imagery of "the Chief" - even from private citizens wearing clothes and standing in areas that said professor cannot, will not, abide and his self-righteousness drove him into the bathroom to film private citizens changing clothes. He doesn't like the private citizens and he doesn't like the clothes and so the law does not apply to him.

What if he decides he doesn't like the private citizens preparing for a dance recital and doesn't like their clothes - maybe there are feathers or moccasins, maybe they are dressed as Indians or maybe dancing toAfrican drum music or maybe Eskimos or maybe Polynesians dancing to guitars (not authentic!) - and he films them in the public restroom of Krannert because he "suspects" that UIUC employees at Krannert turned on the bathroom lights or cleaned the sinks or picked up a dropped tutu!!

Get over yourself, Professor Rosenstein. The UIUC should take a vote - and the vote should include alums and emerita and American Indians - as to whether we actually want to elect YOU to represent us in the world of ethics and righteousness!

It will be interesting to see who really runs the UIUC, as if we didn't already know from previous throwing up of the white flag of surrender to the absurd, unjust and irrational demands of the NCAA, the Big Ten (embracing both MSU and PSU!), and the AAUP. There are still many of us - not so loud, not so bullying - who long to see the UIUC show some spine, just once. Maybe a professor who smugly and triumphally embraced violence against Jews did not arouse it. Maybe the unjust treatment in contrast of UIUC versus other NCAA judgements did not arouse it. Maybe a self-selected Judge of Others professor who ignored a law (one that is so self-evident that one wouldn't ever imagine that such a law would be needed, and yet it is in these times of deviance and bizarre perversity), regardless of what a "good guy" who is not deviant, not perverse he is, will arouse it. Reitz apparently picks and chooses which laws she will enforce. Rosenstein and the rest of us don't have that "luxury." Or do we?

Where is the faculty association, the AAUP, the NCAA, the Big Ten, Rosentein, et al. while the State of Illinois destroys legitimae institutions of higher education in the state, PUBLIC institutions,while rewarding the poliical boondoggles of illegitimate "colleges" and giving public dollars to private colleges! Those are REAL issues of ACADEMIC integrity! Where are your loud intimidating voices and cameras on those issues?!


byrdslover wrote on February 02, 2018 at 1:02 pm

And where are YOU "while the State of Illinois destroys legitimae institutions of higher education in the state, PUBLIC institutions,while rewarding the poliical boondoggles of illegitimate "colleges" and giving public dollars to private colleges!"
Let me guess: sitting on your couch posting on a comment thread.  Why don't you do something about it instead of asking everyone else to do it for you?

annabellissimo wrote on February 04, 2018 at 6:02 pm

You chose to attack someone commenting here about whom you know NOTHING, not his or her activities, political actions, efforts, his/her couch or any other furniture upon which any commenters write or any other of their circumstances. I did not ask anyone else to do anything "for me" at all. I challenged the bodies who have done actual harm to UIUC, and are now threatening to do more, for reasons that - by comparison to a professor choosing to videotaping people in a public restroom - seem absurd. For the AAUP, however indirectly so far, to be rising to the defense of a professor who chose to videotape in a public restroom - regardless of HIS "motivation" - raises serious questions about integrity around this tired issue, again. Why you appear to take issue with calling for higher education professionals to address the real and immediate challenges to higher education in Illinois - corruption, mishandling, intrusion, attacks, ignorance by and from state government - rather than devoting so much energy and self-aggrandizement regarding "the Chief" or an anti-Semitic advocate of violence against Israeli Jews is revelatory of a lack of intellectual integrity. Your attack on one commenter is further evidence of that.

What do YOU do to help institutions of higher education in Illinois survive, or is your only interest in Mr. Rosenstein's obsession with "the Chief" and his (and others) building and enhancing careers around that one single issue? What stage would Rosenstein, Kaufman, et al. have were it not for "the Chief" and his vestiges? They found a willing enabler in the similarly self-promoting Nancy Cantor who did the bidding of the small but very loud group, made their demands into policy, and left, moving on to the next institution where she made similar moves but in different contexts.

I would refer you to the book promotion talk given by Bret Stephens available for viewing on CSpan.org, their book TV section. His talk is enlightening regarding academic freedom, liberal ideas, contemporary issues, etc. He is a New York Times journalist, a Pulitzer Prize winning writer, a graduate of the University of Chicago and the London School of Economics. He says he is "still a 'Never Trumper' " and his book tour talk addresses contemporary campus life intelligently and well-informed. Try it, if you don't object to admitting a little air and light into your own thinking.

That said, thank you for your belligerent and angry response to what is a "cri de coeur" for faculty and administrators in Illinois to wise up to the not-silly assaults on higher education, if they can detach from their silly obsessions with matters like "the Chief." Or even they cannot abandon the obsession with "the Chief" to at least broaden their attacks to demanding that the NCAA treat all institutions fairly, appropriately, so that when UNC engages in actual ACADEMIC fraud with their "student-athletes," it is treated in even slightly as harsh a way as UIUC and "the Chief" have been. And then there's the Florida Indian shirtless on a horse with a flaming spear..... but that's OK cause the Seminoles get money for the "shameless, degrading" imagery. Or Louisville where prostitutes and strippers are found to be a useful part of "student-athlete" recruitment. Now, UIUC has its own videographer of people in public bathrooms; hooray for us. How brave, how noble, how selfless of Mr. Rosenstein to save all the rest of us from having to see or think about or even ignore "the Chief." We didn't even ask him to do this difficult work of taking a camera into a public bathroom and making his "documentaries" and yet he did it all for us or for Indians or maybe it was for himself.

Logic, fairness, justice, common sense, integrity, honesty, open-ness - words that have meaning, not just groupthink gobbledygook spoonfed and swallowed.

BruckJr wrote on February 01, 2018 at 5:02 pm

Did Jay go whining to the AAUP?

Rocky7 wrote on February 01, 2018 at 7:02 pm

Here we go again.  AAUP comes to the rescue of a professor who videotapes in public bathrooms. Good grief.  What next?


For the record, I am an emeritus professor at UIUC who has received at least five major and eight minor awards, some from government, some from professional societies. It never occured to me that it gave me special privileges  beyond a good feeling about work done.

Former UI Supporter wrote on February 01, 2018 at 11:02 pm

If Julia Reitz would do her job, which is to proscecute the law, the U of I would be on firm ground with this group of #$^&%*.  Let's all remember this event when her next election come around. Better yet, call her office and tell her now. Isn't it convenient that the phone was not preserved as evidence?

The University officials have previously stated that bad behavior won't be tolerated. If they do not discharge this "person" they will have a hard time prosecuting the person that physically attacks another individual because they don't like that individual's t-shirt. 

jongreg wrote on February 02, 2018 at 9:02 am

Crazy idea...Rosenstein and Dozier need a place to settle this issue. They need a place where they can go and tell their version of how the events transpired. If there are any by-standers that witnessed the event or any photos or videos that are available, each of them should be able to provide that. I'm not sure how experienced Rosenstein and Dozier are, so maybe they could get someone to help out; someone with experience with rules and such (sounds like Rosenstein has the AAUP).

This place should then get a group of impartial people together. These people will be informed of what rules were reported to have been broken and by whom. Rosenstein and Dozier would then tell their story and provide any accompanying materials they may have. Then, after both sides have told their story, this group of selected people would then decide what, if any, rules were broken and who broke them. Then the matter would be settled and proper consequences would be applied to the rule breaker(s). 

Let's see; what would we call this place? Since it happened at an Illini (no offense) Basketball game, let's call it...COURT! I know, I know, it's crazy!