Thursday, November 12, 2015

Illinois and Salaita Settle

The University of Illinois and Steven Salaita have settled their dispute over the former's "unhiring" of the latter, with Salaita to be paid over $800,000 in damages and attorneys fees. Since this looks to be the conclusion of the saga, I'll take the opportunity to one last time state my position: Yes, I think Salaita made anti-Semitic tweets, yes, I think his academic freedom was violated, no, clause "a" and clause "b" should not have anything to do with one another. Academic freedom includes the right to make anti-Semitic (or racist, or sexist, or whatever) statements; Salaita should not have been effectively stripped of his position for doing so; and he was entitled to (and I'm glad he received) a significant cash payout given that he detrimentally relied on Illinois' failure to adhere to basic academic freedom standards.

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