PSLS Submits Letters from Legal Organizations and Law Faculty on Salaita Appointment Revocation to UIUC Board of Trustees
PSLS today sent a letter to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Board of Trustees enclosing a number of letters from legal organizations and law faculty to UIUC Chancellor Wise regarding the revocation of Steven Salaita’s tenure appointment earlier this month. Salaita’s appointment was terminated in apparent response to pressure from politically motivated groups that complained about his tweets regarding Israel’s latest war on Gaza.
The letter was sent prior to a meeting called by the Executive Committee of the Board on Friday afternoon. The submission includes letters from the Center for Constitutional Rights, a collection of law faculty, the National Lawyers Guild, and a joint letter from PSLS, CAIR-Chicago, and National Lawyers Guild – Chicago Chapter.
The letter urges Board members to:
right the wrong that is being committed against Salaita, and that threatens to have a ripple effect across UIUC and institutions of higher education nation-wide. This is necessary, not only as a matter of principle – to refuse to permit outside political influences to dictate the University’s decisions regarding faculty appointments and faculty speech – but also as a matter of law, based on UIUC’s obligations to protect the right of academics to speak out on matters of public concern, under both Illinois and Federal law.
Public pressure on UIUC has been mounting, as thousands of academics have agreed to boycott UIUC, leading to the cancellation of public events on campus, in protest of the University's actions against Salaita.
Read full letter and attachments here.