AAUP: University of Illinois On Notice for Academic Freedom Violations

The American Association of University Professors (AAUP) has released a powerful letter addressed to Chancellor Phyllis Wise regarding Steven’s case. In it, Associate Secretary Anita Levy articulates the facts of the case and connects them to other important cases of academic freedom violations and employment. She then speaks specifically to Steve’s situation, to wit:

We are deeply concerned about the action taken against Professor Salaita. Long after he was offered and accepted a tenured position, specific arrangements were made regarding courses, schedules, and  salary. The exchange of letters between Interim Dean Ross and Professor Salaita appears to have been in accordance with generally established procedures by which academic appointments are tendered and accepted. Ten months elapsed during which time no one in the university administration gave any indication that the appointment as agreed upon might not be brought before the board.

The powerful letter closes with the following unequivocal statement and demand that the University meet its obligations to pay Steve per the terms of his employment contract:

Until these issues have been resolved, we look upon Professor Salaita’s situation as that of a faculty member suspended from his academic responsibilities pending a hearing on his fitness to continue. Under the joint 1958 Statement on Procedural Standards in Faculty Dismissal Proceedings, any such suspension is to be with pay. As detailed earlier in this letter, Professor Salaita has incurred major financial expenses since he accepted the University of Illinois offer. We urge – indeed insist – that he be paid salary as set in the terms of the appointment pending the result of the CAFT proceeding.

Dr. Levy asks for a “prompt response” from the Chancellor. We will keep you posted on any new developments on this front. Read the letter in its entirety here!