University of Illinois Issues Two Statements; Doubles Down on Intransigence

Today Chancellor Phyllis Wise sent an email to all UIUC students, faculty and staff, in which she repeated specious claims about Steve’s fitness as an instructor. In her statement, Wise stated, among other things, that:

As a university community, we also are committed to creating a welcoming environment for faculty and students alike to explore the most difficult, contentious and complex issues facing our society today. Our Inclusive Illinois initiative is based on the premise that education is a process that starts with our collective willingness to search for answers together – learning from each other in a respectful way that supports a diversity of worldviews, histories and cultural knowledge.

Yet her commitment to this exploration does not extend to honoring a signed contract of a tenured faculty member.

Meanwhile, the University doubled down on its message, again spamming the entire campus body with a self-congratulatory email congratulating Chancellor Wise for her sage leadership. At the same time, as the Board of Trustees convened, a group of concerned students arrived at the meeting to make their case in support of Steve known. They were summarily removed from the meeting, but recorded a bold and powerful statement that can be viewed here.

Many campus community members have expressed outrage and frustration at being targeted by the unidirectional massmail communications, particularly as so many have attempted to meet with Chancellor Wise to discuss concerns, have written to her but received no reply and have watched as the University of Illinois has descended into isolation as the reverberations of its terrible decision have circulated through the academic world. These emails, combined with yesterday’s release of Steve’s excellent teaching evaluations, make the political motivations of the University’s actions clear.