Thought you had heard the last of Louis Wozniak, the longtime University of Illinois engineering professor and alumnus, who was dismissed by the UI Board of Trustees in November? His case has drawn the attention of at least one advocate of academic freedom.
"The firing of Louis Wozniak by the University of Illinois raises disturbing questions about academic freedom, due process and the failure of faculty to defend these principles. Normally, the firing of a tenured professor is such an extraordinary event that it involves acts of breathtaking misconduct or total incompetence. This is not the case with Louis Wozniak. In fact, if Wozniak were a mediocre teacher, he would still be working at the University of Illinois. It was Wozniak's excellence in teaching that led him to be given awards and then to being fired when he objected to not receiving a teaching award that he had earned."
— John K. Wilson, editor of Illinois Academe, a publication of the Illinois American Association of University Professors, in an essay titled "A Troubling Case at the University of Illinois."
Earlier this week, UI engineering alumnus Neel Kashkari formally entered the race for California governor as a Republican. He and fellow Republican Tim Donnelly are trying to unseat Gov. Jerry Brown.
The 40-year-old Kashkari's "viability as a candidate remains an open question, as he will only now begin to raise money and test his moderate social views with GOP donors and the party's base. Kashkari has never run for elected office and has said he cannot self-finance the effort. ...
"Kashkari, a former Goldman Sachs executive, ran the $700 billion bank bailout known as the Troubled Asset Relief Program during former President George W. Bush's administration. He has said he will make poverty and education the focus of his campaign."
— David Siders, Sacramento Bee's Capitol Alert
Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa made news this week when he said that the United States has too many military officers assigned to its embassy in Quito. The UI grad, who received his economics Ph.D. in 2001, was holding a meeting with international correspondents on Wednesday.
But the popular president has at least one opponent among local reporters: Fernando Villavicencio, whose house was raided in late December and his computer confiscated. According to reports, Correa tweeted shortly afterward that authorities found "serious things" in Villavicencio's home and accused the reporter of hacking into his personal email and the emails of other government officials.
Villavicencio, who faces two years in prison for libeling Correa, told news site BuzzFeed: "Being a journalist is not a crime. Being different from them is not a crime. Fighting against corruption is not a crime."