Academics both ‘pleased and concerned’ with Salaita settlement with University of Illinois

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Yesterday a settlement was announced in Professor Steven Salaita’s lawsuit against the University of Illinois for violating his academic freedom and right to free speech when it rescinded a position at the University following Salaita’s criticism of Israel on social media. In the settlement Salaita will drop his lawsuits against the school and receive $875,000 while the University admits no wrongdoing. Also, Salaita’s position will not be reinstated at the university, which had been the hope of many who rallied around Salaita’s cause. Following the settlement this statement was sent to Mondoweiss by Katherine Franke.

Statement: Over 80 Academics Respond to Steven Salaita Lawsuit Settlement

As scholars in a wide range of academic disciplines we write to express that we are both pleased and concerned that the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) has agreed to settle Professor Steven Salaita’s lawsuit challenging his illegal termination by the UIUC Board of Trustees after he made comments on social media critical of Israel’s military assault on Gaza in the summer of 2014. We note that the University agreed to settle Professor Salaita’s claims only after a federal court had ruled in Professor Salaita’s favor on key elements of his case, including that his employment was terminated after he had been given a contract of employment by UIUC, and that Professor Salaita’s comments on social media were protected by the First Amendment.

We are pleased that the University of Illinois trustees, through the payment of a substantial monetary settlement to Professor Salaita, have acknowledged how Professor Salaita’s termination amounted to a serious violation of both his constitutional right to free speech on matters of public concern, and principles of academic freedom. Agreeing to pay what amounts to the equivalent of Professor Salaita’s salary for ten years, the University of Illinois trustees have implicitly conceded the core claims of Professor Salaita’s lawsuit: that he was illegally terminated in retaliation for his comments in connection with the Israeli war on Gaza, and that UIUC officials’ decision to terminate Professor Salaita was motivated, at least in part, by pressure they received from large donors to the University as was revealed by emails disclosed by the University in connection with the lawsuit.

At the same time, we are concerned about the terms of the settlement for two principal reasons. First, it did not include Professor Salaita’s reinstatement. Although we respect Professor Salaita’s decision to accept the settlement and to move on with his career, we nevertheless call attention to the fact that a cash settlement without an offer of reinstatement leaves unaddressed the unjust terms by which his employment was terminated. Not only were his fundamental rights of free speech and academic freedom abridged, but he remains entitled to reinstatement at UIUC as a matter of principle, whether or not he chooses to accept that reinstatement. As it stands, the settlement demonstrates that the university can abridge such rights at a price, setting a perilous precedent.

Second, we recognize that UIUC’s unlawful treatment of Professor Salaita has had implications well beyond Professor Salaita individually. The UIUC American Indian Studies Program that hired Professor Salaita not only lost Professor Salaita as a colleague (after a rigorous search), it has suffered severe fall-out given the administration’s assault on the autonomy of the program and its selection to appoint Professor Salaita to the program. Professor Salaita’s hire was intended to build a rising, dynamic academic home for research and teaching on American Indian Studies. Now the program struggles with less than one full academic appointment. The decimation of the American Indian Studies Program at UIUC has been an additional price tag paid by the university’s capitulation to internal and external forces that disapproved of Professor Salaita’s exercise of constitutionally protected rights to free speech. Sadly, the settlement in this case fails to address the larger price paid by students, faculty, and the broader academic community that looked to the University of Illinois as a home of robust academic inquiry into the complex issues of sovereignty, belonging, dispossession, and conquest – both in the U.S. and globally.

On account of the manner in which Professor Salaita was terminated the American Association of University Professors censured UIUC for its failure to conform to sound academic practices as established in AAUP principles. We feel strongly that the monetary settlement of Professor Salaita’s legal claim does not address the underlying breaches of academic freedom and widely accepted standards for the conduct of academic governance that formed the basis of the AAUP sanction in this matter. For this reason we urge the AAUP to not remove UIUC from its list of censured administrations until such time as UIUC adequately addresses the larger pall of uncertainty that has been cast over the manner in which academic freedom is understood and respected at UIUC.

(List in formation – Titles and institutions are for identification purposes only. Access full list here.)

Katherine Franke
Sulzbacher Professor of Law
Columbia University

Judith Butler
Maxine Elliot Professor of Comparative Literature
University of California, Berkeley

J. Kēhaulani Kauanui
Associate Professor of American Studies and Anthropology
Wesleyan University

Rashid Khalidi
Edward Said Professor of Arab Studies
Columbia University

Cynthia Franklin
Professor of English
University of Hawai’i

David Palumbo-Liu
Louise Hewlett Nixon Professor
Stanford University

Lisa Duggan
Professor, Department of Social & Cultural Analysis
New York University

Kendall Thomas
Nash Professor of Law
Columbia University
James Schamus
Professor of Professional Practice, School of the Arts
Columbia University

Bill V. Mullen
Professor of American Studies
Purdue University

Bruce Robbins
Old Dominion Foundation Professor in the Humanities
Department of English and Comparative Literature
Columbia University

Macarena Gomez-Barris
Associate Professor, American Studies & Ethnicity
University of Southern California

Robert Alexander Innes
Assistant Professor, Department of Indigenous Studies
University of Saskatchewan

Lauren Berlant
George M. Pullman Distinguished Service Professor of English
University of Chicago

Joseph Massad
Professor, Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies
Columbia University

Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak
University Professor in the Humanities
Columbia University

Noura Erakat
George Mason University

Sunaina Maira
Professor, Asian American Studies
University of California, Davis

Corey Robin
Professor of Political Science
Brooklyn College and the CUNY Graduate Center

Colin Dayan
Robert Penn Warren Professor in the Humanities
Professor of Law
Vanderbilt University

Margaret Russell
Professor of Law
Santa Clara Law

David Prochaska
Department of History
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

Lisa Rofel
Director, Center for Emerging Worlds
Professor, Department of Anthropology
University of California, Santa Cruz

Helga Tawil-Souri
Associate Professor, Media, Culture, and Communication
New York University

Marianne Hirsch
William Peterfield Trent Professor of English and Comparative Literature
Director, Institute for Research on Women, Gender and Sexuality
Columbia University

Valerie Forman
Associate Professor, Gallatin School
New York University

Neferti Tadiar
Professor of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
Barnard College

Inderpal Grewal
Professor, Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies Program
Professor, South Asian Studies
Professor, Ethnicity, Race and Migration Studies
Affiliate Faculty in American Studies.
Yale University

Brinkley Messick
Professor of Anthropology and of Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies Columbia University

Kandice Chuh
Professor of English and American Studies
Acting Coordinator, American Studies Certificate Program
CUNY/The Graduate Center

Roderick A. Ferguson
Professor, Department of African American Studies and the Program in Gender and Women’s Studies
University of Illinois, Chicago

Valerie Forman
Associate Professor
Gallatin School of Individualized Study
New York University

Natalie Zemon Davis
University of Toronto

Dr. Rima Najjar Merriman
Al-Quds University, Palestine

Stephen Duncombe
Professor of Media and Culture
Gallatin School of Individualized Study &
Media, Culture and Communication, Steinhardt School
New York University

Chandler Davis
Professor Emeritus of Mathematics
University of Toronto

Jodi Melamed
Associate Professor
Marquette University

Frederick Neuhouser
Professor of Philosophy
Barnard College

Bruce Levine
J. G. Randall Distinguished Professor of History
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

Laura Briggs
Chair and Professor, Women, Gender, Sexuality Studies
University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Ann Cvetkovich
Ellen C. Garwood Centennial Professor of English
Professor of Women’s and Gender Studies
University of Texas at Austin

Alyosha Goldstein
Associate Professor & Director of Graduate Studies
American Studies Department
University of New Mexico

David Klein
Professor of Mathematics
California State University, Northridge

Taylor Carman
Dept of Philosophy
Barnard College
Columbia University

Professor E Frances White
Gallatin School of Individualized Study and Department of Social and Cultural Analysis, FAS
New York University

Kevin Bruyneel
Professor of Politics
Babson College

Miranda Joseph, Professor
Department of Gender & Women’s Studies
University of Arizona

Dr Patrick Wolfe
Honorary Research Associate
History Program
La Trobe University
Australia

Christine B. Harrington
Professor, Wilf Family Department of Politics
Affiliated Faculty, NYU Law School
New York University

David Roediger
Foundation Professor of American Studies
University of Kansas

Magid Shihade
Birzeit University

Leti Volpp
Robert D. and Leslie Kay Raven Professor of Law
Berkeley Law

Dean Saranillio
Assistant Professor
New York University

Gayatri Gopinath
Associate Professor, Dept of Social and Cultural Analysis
New York University

Barbara Ransby
Distinguished Professor
University of Illinois at Chicago

Sandra K. Soto
University of Arizona
Department of Gender & Women’s Studies

Lara Deeb
Professor of Anthropology
Scripps College

C. Heike Schotten
Associate Professor
Department of Political Science
University of Massachusetts Boston

John Maynard
Professor of English
New York University

Kiara M. Vigil
Assistant Professor
American Studies
Amherst College

Cynthia Grant Bowman
Professor of Law
Cornell Law School

Chandan Reddy
Associate Professor
English and Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies
University of Washington

Jeff Goodwin
Professor of Sociology
New York University

Juliana Hu Pegues
Assistant Professor
Smith College

Carolyn Dinshaw
Professor of Social and Cultural Analysis and English
New York University

Sarah T. Roberts
Assistant Professor, Faculty of Information and Media Studies
Western University

Rebecca Comay
Professor, Department of Philosophy
University of Toronto

Aziz Rana
Professor of Law
Cornell Law School

Moon-Ho Jung
Department of History
University of Washington

Vasuki Nesiah
Associate Professor of Practice
The Gallatin School, New York University

Nadine Suleiman Naber
Associate Professor
Department of Gender and Women’s Studies
Asian American Studies
University of Illinois at Chicago

Tithi Bhattacharya
Associate Professor, History
Purdue University

Joseph R. Slaughter
Associate Professor of English and Comparative Literature
Columbia University

Salah D Hassan
English
Michigan State University

Andrea Gadberry
Assistant Professor
Gallatin School of Individualized Study;
Department of Comparative Literature,
College of Arts & Science
New York University

Malini Johar Schueller
Professor
Department of English
University of Florida

Sinclair Thomson
Associate Professor of History
New York University

Rebecca Schreiber
Associate Professor
Director of Undergraduate Studies
Department of American Studies
University of New Mexico

Benjamin Balthaser
Assistant Professor of English
Indiana University, South Bend

Hannah Gurman
Clinical Associate Professor
Gallatin School
New York University

Alex Dubilet
Visiting Scholar, Department of Religious Studies
Vanderbilt University

Marita Sturken
Professor, Department of Media, Culture, and Communication
Steinhardt School
New York University

Susan G Davis 
Professor Emerita Communication Dept, and Graduate School of Library and Information Science
University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

Dawn Peterson
Assistant Professor of History
Emory University

Hartry Field
University Professor and Silver Professor of philosophy
New York University

Jules Lobel
Bessie McKee Walthour Professor of Law
University of Pittsburgh Law School

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29 Responses

  1. hophmi
    November 13, 2015, 2:33 pm

    “We are pleased that the University of Illinois trustees, through the payment of a substantial monetary settlement to Professor Salaita, have acknowledged how Professor Salaita’s termination amounted to a serious violation of both his constitutional right to free speech on matters of public concern, and principles of academic freedom. Agreeing to pay what amounts to the equivalent of Professor Salaita’s salary for ten years, the University of Illinois trustees have implicitly conceded the core claims of Professor Salaita’s lawsuit”

    LOL. Or they just wanted him to go away, which is the more likely explanation, and paying him was cheaper than litigating the case to conclusion. Happens every day.

    “At the same time, we are concerned about the terms of the settlement for two principal reasons. First, it did not include Professor Salaita’s reinstatement.”

    It’s uncommon for that to happen when the parties are in dispute with one another.

    What will happen now is that universities will much more closely vet department hires, and people like Salaita simply will not get an offer. Humanities professors, who just don’t live in the real world, are fooling themselves. They’re coddled, and they expect privileges that no one else enjoys, such as the privilege to say whatever they want, whenever they want, whether it relates to their work or not, and face no consequence for it. Compared to the sciences, humanities departments bring little in the way of donations into a university, except, it seems, this kind of headache.

    If humanities professors stopped acting like the coddled babies that they are, they might recognize how badly this kind of thing looks to everybody but them and the activists who supported Salaita’s cause for purely political reasons.

    • lysias
      November 13, 2015, 3:09 pm

      What will happen now is that universities will much more closely vet department hires, and people like Salaita simply will not get an offer. Humanities professors, who just don’t live in the real world, are fooling themselves. They’re coddled, and they expect privileges that no one else enjoys, such as the privilege to say whatever they want, whenever they want, whether it relates to their work or not, and face no consequence for it. Compared to the sciences, humanities departments bring little in the way of donations into a university, except, it seems, this kind of headache.

      If humanities professors stopped acting like the coddled babies that they are, they might recognize how badly this kind of thing looks to everybody but them and the activists who supported Salaita’s cause for purely political reasons.

      Spoken by someone who obviously has no understanding of the liberal arts. I hate to think what he must think of someone like me, who has three degrees in Classics.

      • Steve Grover
        November 13, 2015, 3:32 pm

        lysias sez:
        “I hate to think what he must think of someone like me, who has three degrees in Classics.”
        One more and you will be a black belt.

      • hophmi
        November 13, 2015, 3:54 pm

        Please explain to me how the liberal arts entitles professors to act without consequence or how it entitles professors to tenured positions. The great majority of professors enjoy no such freedom, of course, and Salaita’s childish and irresponsibility made their lives harder, not easier.

      • Mooser
        November 14, 2015, 3:45 pm

        “One more and you will be a black belt.”

        And nobody appreciates a couple of good belts the way you do, “Grover”

      • Steve Grover
        November 14, 2015, 5:27 pm

        “And nobody appreciates a couple of good belts the way you do, “Grover””

        And the Mondoweissbara delete my posts when I refer to the guy as “weiss’s little chihuahua”.

      • Annie Robbins
        November 14, 2015, 5:50 pm

        lol, ok happy now ;)

      • Mooser
        November 14, 2015, 6:09 pm

        “…little chihuahua”

        You know, as I’ve gotten older, I learned to love even little dogs like Chihuahuas. Not everybody can have a big dog.

      • Steve Grover
        November 14, 2015, 6:47 pm

        lol, ok happy now ;)
        It doesn’t take much to make me happy. Heck, I don’t even wear a watch.

      • Mooser
        November 14, 2015, 9:59 pm

        “It doesn’t take much to make me happy.”

        Yup, a reasonable amount of food, a roof over your head, all the rights of an American, and a back-up country, stolen from its inhabitants! What more does a man need?

    • pjdude
      November 13, 2015, 5:38 pm

      says the person belonging to a coddled minority that cries like babies if anyone says anything they don’t like. says the person who demands special privileges based on his faith. your a real piece of work. thankfully in the next you will get that which you have earned.

      • hophmi
        November 16, 2015, 3:44 pm

        “says the person belonging to a coddled minority that cries like babies if anyone says anything they don’t like. says the person who demands special privileges based on his faith. your a real piece of work. thankfully in the next you will get that which you have earned.”

        Don’t threaten me, pjdude. My people are facing serious antisemitism in almost every country in Europe right now. We’re not a coddled minority.

      • Annie Robbins
        November 16, 2015, 3:55 pm

        don’t be a drama queen hops. no one threatened you. in a just and balanced world everyone would receive the fruits of their labors. it’s called karma by some and the idea has been part of belief systems since time immemorial.

        and it’s not for you to tell us who is or is not coddled. 3 billion a year and bulging is coddled.

      • Mooser
        November 16, 2015, 4:07 pm

        “My people are facing…”

        Who the hell selected you to own the Jews? “My people”. Say “Hophmi” how many Jews have you asked if they want you to own them or represent them.
        “My people”, oh please. What a frickin’ ego.

      • Mooser
        November 16, 2015, 4:13 pm

        “and it’s not for you to tell us who is or is not coddled.”

        Oh, I’ll cop to it. I’ve seen what, just a little bit of what the US can do to people it doesn’t coddle, and I know damn well I’m coddled. I wish everybody was.
        It’s that “my people” which lights my fuse.
        Funny, for a guy who says “my people” Hophmi” spends an awful lot of his time telling us which Jews don’t get to be one of ‘Hophmi’s people’.

      • Keith
        November 16, 2015, 5:40 pm

        HOPHMI- “My people are facing serious antisemitism in almost every country in Europe right now.”

        Perhaps if neocons such as Victoria Nuland and that Jewish Ukrainian oligarch hadn’t made such good use of the Ukrainian neo-Nazis (there and elsewhere, I might add), perhaps there would be less anti-Semitism. Also, the deplorable economic conditions created by neoliberal globalization pave the way for groups such as Golden Dawn to flourish. Perhaps all of those Zionist Jews in the Council on Foreign Relations and elsewhere might stop pushing for imperial global hegemony, and utilizing Islamic terrorists to destabilize targeted states. As yea sow, so shall yea reap. None of this, I might add, is unanticipated.

    • diasp0ra
      November 13, 2015, 5:58 pm

      Ah yes, scrambling to offer a settlement with over half a million dollars.

      The sign of someone truly confident in their case.

    • Mooser
      November 14, 2015, 6:56 pm

      “If humanities professors stopped acting like the coddled babies that they are…”

      What happened? “Hophmi” used to like the “humanities”:

      “Again, two scholars with actual expertise in the field Sand writes about panned the book:
      “Sand’s claims were called “baseless” by Israel Bartal, dean of the humanities faculty at Hebrew University, who called the book “bizarre and incoherent.”

      – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/profile/hophmi?keyword=humanities#sthash.WlfoSIdS.dpuf

      He likes it so much he repeats it:

      “Sand’s claims were called “baseless” by Israel Bartal, dean of the humanities faculty at Hebrew University, who called the book “bizarre and incoherent.” – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/profile/hophmi?keyword=humanities#sthash.WlfoSIdS.dpuf

      Ah, I see, there’s one kind of “humanities” “Hophmi” likes:

      “An Israel Studies department could, in addition to politics courses, include course in literature, startup development, small-state development, economics, art, and a broad swath of humanities.” – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/profile/hophmi?keyword=humanities#sthash.WlfoSIdS.dpuf

    • eljay
      November 14, 2015, 10:17 pm

      || hophmi: … Humanities professors … are fooling themselves. They’re coddled, and they expect privileges that no one else enjoys … If humanities professors stopped acting like the coddled babies that they are, they might recognize how badly this kind of thing looks to everybody but them … ||

      This statement applies perfectly to Zio-supremacists.

    • David44
      November 14, 2015, 11:37 pm

      Hophmi:

      “LOL. Or they just wanted him to go away, which is the more likely explanation, and paying him was cheaper than litigating the case to conclusion. Happens every day.”

      You’re probably right on this.

      “It’s uncommon for that to happen when the parties are in dispute with one another.”

      And on this.

      But you go badly off the rails with what follows:

      “What will happen now is that universities will much more closely vet department hires, and people like Salaita simply will not get an offer”.

      If you think this, then your problem isn’t that you don’t understand the Humanities (though you don’t); the problem is that you don’t understand how hiring works in universities. Choices for hires are in the first instance made by departments. They are then typically sent to a Dean and (in the cases like Salaita, for hires with tenure) to a university tenure committee; but those will only look at the academic case – they will not be examining (e.g.) the candidate’s presence on social media. They do not have the sort of evidence in front of them that would alert them to (e.g.) fallout from donors.

      In order to vet every candidate for potential controversy, a large extra bureaucracy would have to be created, which would provide a comprehensive examination of EVERY hire in the university (hundreds every year at the university of the size of UIUC). This could not be done quietly, but would be controversial precisely because of its intrusiveness. Few if any universities would be prepared to face massive GUARANTEED objections among its existing faculty, merely in order to head off a POSSIBLE candidate who might be controversial at some point in the future. And even if they did so, it would still be the case that the Dean (or whoever was responsible for denying the hire) would have to go back to the department and tell them that he or she was rejecting the case on non-academic grounds, which would create exactly the sort of outrage that the Salaita case did. It would not avoid controversy: it would exacerbate it.

      And that is leaving aside the obvious point that you appear to have overlooked: that the whole issue in the Salaita case was the result of tweets he issued in response to a war that broke out months after his hire had been formally announced. At the point when he was hired, he was not controversial.

      “Humanities professors, who just don’t live in the real world, are fooling themselves. They’re coddled, and they expect privileges that no one else enjoys, such as the privilege to say whatever they want, whenever they want, whether it relates to their work or not, and face no consequence for it.”

      Steven Salaita did indeed have that privilege, but he did not have it by virtue of being a “humanities professor”. He had it by virtue of being a US citizen who had received an offer of employment from a US public institution, which is legally obliged to provide full and unabridged First Amendment rights of free speech on all matters, whether or not related to the individual’s work, and no matter how controversial it may be.

      • hophmi
        November 16, 2015, 4:12 pm

        “Choices for hires are in the first instance made by departments. They are then typically sent to a Dean and (in the cases like Salaita, for hires with tenure) to a university tenure committee; but those will only look at the academic case – they will not be examining (e.g.) the candidate’s presence on social media. They do not have the sort of evidence in front of them that would alert them to (e.g.) fallout from donors.”

        Can you honestly say, though, that the academic case is all that these departments and programs take into account? Salaita was not some eminent scholar. He was basically unknown before this. It’s no coincidence that the head of American-Indian Studies shared his political views.

        Even if the university can’t vet every candidate, one would think they would more aggressively vet candidates to whom they’re giving lifetime appointments.

        Moreover, even if the controversy over Salaita’s hire occurred after he received his offer, his tweets only mimicked other themes in his polemical writing that were just as troubling.

        “He had it by virtue of being a US citizen who had received an offer of employment from a US public institution, which is legally obliged to provide full and unabridged First Amendment rights of free speech on all matters, whether or not related to the individual’s work, and no matter how controversial it may be.”

        I don’t believe that’s true. I can think of a number of public institutions that have a perfect right to hire and fire employees based on their behavior on social media. First Amendment rights give you the right to speak. They don’t give you the right to avoid the consequences of speech. Logically, it doesn’t hold. Salaita’s hire is based on his output. If he isn’t hired because his output was insufficient, i.e., because of what he did or didn’t say in his academic work, that’s not a violation of his First Amendment rights.

      • David44
        November 16, 2015, 10:54 pm

        Hophmi:

        “Can you honestly say, though, that the academic case is all that these departments and programs take into account? Salaita was not some eminent scholar. He was basically unknown before this. It’s no coincidence that the head of American-Indian Studies shared his political views.”

        Actually, if you believe the head of American-Indian Studies, Robert Warrior, it was indeed a coincidence: he was not a member of the committee that recommended Salaita for appointment. But more importantly, it is irrelevant. Even if it WERE the case that the department is taking non-academic criteria into account, those will not be part of what is sent to the Dean and tenure committee to be assessed. They will ONLY be looking to see if the case for appointment can be justified academically, and they will not have any evidence before them to consider other factors. And – demonstrably – the Dean and tenure committee at UIUC was satisfied that Salaita’s appointment was fully justified on academic grounds.

        “Even if the university can’t vet every candidate, one would think they would more aggressively vet candidates to whom they’re giving lifetime appointments.”

        You are still talking about more than 100 such hires each year at UIUC alone – around a third of all faculty hires at UIUC are tenure-line – and you have in any case overlooked my chief point, which is that however few or many they are, one could not establish a system to vet them in the way you suggest without creating a large extra bureaucracy and generating considerable faculty opposition, and doing so without ultimately removing controversy in the event that the faculty’s choice of hire was denied on non-academic grounds. No university is going to want to go down that route.

        “I don’t believe that’s true. I can think of a number of public institutions that have a perfect right to hire and fire employees based on their behavior on social media. First Amendment rights give you the right to speak. They don’t give you the right to avoid the consequences of speech. ”

        See http://www.huffingtonpost.com/brian-leiter/salaita-v-university-of-i_b_5726034.html for a succinct analysis of the legal issues involved. The chief point is that a public institution can only limit speech under very restricted circumstances, notably cases where the speech can reasonably be seen as hindering the individual’s ability to do his/her work effectively. For the reason Leiter explains in that article, that does not apply to the Salaita case.

        “Logically, it doesn’t hold. Salaita’s hire is based on his output. If he isn’t hired because his output was insufficient, i.e., because of what he did or didn’t say in his academic work, that’s not a violation of his First Amendment rights.”

        Indeed it is not, for the reason I explained above (academic inadequacy is something which manifestly disqualifies a person for the post). But the academic value of the scholarly output, and Salaita’s qualifications for the post based on it, had ALREADY been thoroughly analyzed, not only by the department, but by the University tenure committee, which had in front of it independent peer analyses (that is the way such committees invariably operate). Adding some tweets into the mix (which are not part of a scholar’s academic output by any normal definition) does not change that outcome.

    • amigo
      November 15, 2015, 8:47 am

      “If humanities professors stopped acting like the coddled babies that they are”hopmi

      “The Hebrew University Of Jerusalem Faculty Of Humanities Mandel Institute of Jewish Studies :More Subchapters Research Workshop of the Israel Science Foundation Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School for Advanced Studies in the Humanities School of Languages Bible Project (HUBP) מפעל המקרא School of History Harman Institute of Contemporary Jewry Institue of Asian and African Studies Institute of Asian and African Studies Mandel Institute of Jewish Studies The Institute of Western Cultures School of Education School of Literature American Studies The Israel Association for Byzantine Studies Classical Studies Hispania Judaica Philosophy History, Philosophy and Sociology of Sciences Other Units The Folklore Research Center School of Philosophy and Religions قسم اللغة العربية International Center for University Teaching of Jewish Civilization The Center for the Study of Jewish Languages and Literatures Interdisciplinary Studies Oral History Division School of Art Interreligious Encounters Written Arabic, Writing Arabic Mandel Institute of Jewish Studies News Analyzing Collapse – Jerusalem winter academy in the Humanities The Hebrew University, in conjunction with the Jerusalem Institute of Advanced Studies and the Scholion Research Center, is delighted to announce the inauguration of its Winter Academy. The workshop – which will take place December 10th to December 16th, 2012 in Jerusalem – will be an exciting interdisciplinary exploration titled ‘Analyzing Collapse: Destruction, Collapse and Memory.’ The Academy will feature sessions and talks by leading scholars in fields such as archaeology, geography, climatology, anthropology, history and classical studies along with field-trips to some of the most important ‘collapse’ sites in Israel, such as Jerusalem,”

      http://www.hum.huji.ac.il/english/units.php?cat=3612&id=2447&act=large

      Say Hopmi –do you think all the folks studying the Humanities at Hebrew University in Jerusalem are coddled babies.Better contact you local rep and stop this insane waist of money .

      Even if it is the American taxpayers money.

      • hophmi
        November 16, 2015, 4:20 pm

        The disaffection the anti-Israel political community feels about the Salaita case only confirms again that it was purely about politics for them, and not about academic freedom. Indeed, people who advocate academic boycott can never speak credibly for academic freedom.

  2. chocopie
    November 13, 2015, 2:38 pm

    It’s disappointing to see the case resolved in this way, with no admission of wrong-doing by UIUC and no reinstatement of Prof. Salaita. The financial settlement, while undoubtedly welcome by Salaita and his family after the economic turmoil they suffered, doesn’t mean much to anyone who cares about the issues raised by case. It’s not even a large amount of money, relatively speaking, considering UIUC’s resources. They’d probably pay that much to someone who slips on the ice on their campus. And it’s a drop in the bucket compared to what they paid to that chancellor who meddled in Salaita’s appointment in the first place. Would that some of the behind-the-scenese troublemaking Zionists had been made to pay a price in terms of their reputations and/or financially.

  3. lysias
    November 13, 2015, 4:06 pm

    New piece by Salaita in The Nation:  Steven Salaita: I Will Always Condemn Injustice, No Matter the State of My Employment.

    By saying that he now takes long walks on the Corniche, he reminds us that he is now living in downtown Beirut, fortunately not that near the neighborhood attacked by the suicide bombers yesterday.

  4. edding
    November 14, 2015, 8:42 am

    The settlement doesn’t make Salaita whole, or the program he would have joined whole, nor is it in any way comparable to the payout granted by the Trustees to the Chancellor who terminated him. The better way would have been to compensate him for the costs was forced to incur in fighting for his reinstatement and his reputation PLUS the offer of reinstatement, but, given the vagaries (including delays) in our justice system, even with the favorable rulings Salaita did receive, it may have been the best compromise for him at this time to support his family and continue his work somewhere else.

    This is part of a larger struggle against where rich and powerful special interests have tried to hold the rest of us hostage to their geopolitical and economic goals and agenda- so, the fight must continue to educate the public at large about these issues, in order that the equilibrium can shift.

    I recall the case of Kaveh Afrasiabi at Harvard University and the injustices he was forced to suffer at the hands of the school, many of which were never remedied. One only has to look at his impressive accomplishments since that time to realize that such injustices can impel one to greater heights and accomplishments.

    Moreover, Mr. Salaita has kept his focus and can look forward to many good years ahead of him. So, none of this is over by a long shot.

    • Mooser
      November 14, 2015, 3:41 pm

      “nor is it in any way comparable to the payout granted by the Trustees to the Chancellor who terminated him.”

      That’s right. Hadn’t thought of that.

  5. genesto
    November 14, 2015, 1:13 pm

    Here’s the problem with the monetary settlement. It’s the same problem we have with financial settlements for police brutality cases, i.e. that the perpetrators go free and leave the taxpayers – or, in this case, the university’s insurance company – holding the bag. This means there is little disincentive for the perpetrators to do the same in the future.

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