At an afternoon retreat today, the faculty of the American Indian Studies Program, which was to be Steve’s home on the University of Illinois campus, took a vote of NO CONFIDENCE on Chancellor Phyllis Wise for her blocking of Steve’s appointment and subsequent refusal to explain her position beyond nebulous talking points. In their statement, the Program makes clear what they believe continues to motivate Wise:
In clear disregard of basic principles of shared governance and unit autonomy, and without basic courtesy and respect for collegiality, Chancellor Wise did not consult American Indian Studies nor the college before making her decision.
While she has yet to furnish specific reasons, we believe that Chancellor Wise’s decision was in fact made in response to external pressures that sought to block Prof. Salaita’s hire..
The statement goes on to acknowledge the thousands of scholars who have spoken out and boycotted UIUC in response to Wise’s action. While the University administration may not hear these clear calls, AIS certainly does:
With this vote of no confidence, the faculty of UIUC’s American Indian Studies program also joins the thousands of scholars and organizations in the United States and across the world in seeing the Chancellor’s action as a violation of academic freedom and freedom of speech.