Letters to the Editor
As lifelong Illini fans and University of Illinois graduates, we want the Illini to have a winning football program as much as anyone can. But we are greatly disturbed by the voices we hear insisting that coach Tim Beckman must be bowl-bound this season or be fired.
Jim Dey has long been a talented reporter and editorial writer for The News-Gazette. But I must shower him with extra accolades for his coverage of the Steven Salaita saga.
His columns on this ongoing tale have been nothing short of brilliant, and, well, highly entertaining. I look for his Salaita story first thing each morning.
Advocates for Sunrise Coal's Bulldog Mine near Homer praise its imagined, near-term benefits but say nothing about the real, long-term costs incurred after it's abandoned.
Consider what future taxpayers will pay to keep its immense, 47-acre, 75-foot-high coal waste pile from polluting the neighborhood.
The University of Illinois' reneging on the appointment of Professor Steven Salaita is certain to have a serious negative impact on the future recruitment and retention of faculty and a new president.
Sure, people who need jobs will apply, but will the most outstanding candidates? Nor should anyone be surprised if this administrative muck-up drives faculty from the Urbana campus.
The Steven Salaita case is an example of what is wrong with universities, locally and nationally. As universities become more like corporations, administrators become more like corporate managers. They have lost sight of their primary role in providing an appropriate and supportive environment.
The decision by Chancellor Phyllis Wise and by the University of Illinois Board of Trustees, led by Chris Kennedy, not to hire Steven Salaita and James Kilgore is dubious legally and personally reprehensible. And it unintentionally challenges opponents to troll the tweets and emails of every professor, and to out any and all that go beyond the bounds of civility.
How wonderful of Jim Dey to claim "self-pity and moral posturing" over the cancellation of hiring Steven Salaita. It's all so wonderful for the right-wing idealists to claim their rights are being violated, UNLESS it's a view that disagrees with their own.
Chancellor Phyllis Wise is the wise one. One thing we do not need in this area is another person with uncontrolled rage like Steven Salaita.
I find it hard to believe there is not someone just as well qualified, but who has the ability to express his opinions in a healthy way.
Stand up, Ms. Wise, and don't let the vocal minority get their way. Do the right thing.