Bérubé on Salaita


The following is the text of a letter sent to University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) Chancellor Phyllis Wise by Michael Bérubé regarding the university’s apparent decision to revoke a job offer to Professor Steven Salaita.  Michael Bérubé is Edwin Earl Sparks Professor of Literature at Pennsylvania State University, a former president of the Modern Language Association, and a member of AAUP’s Committee A on Academic Freedom and Tenure.  He previously taught at UIUC.  The letter is posted with Professor Bérubé’s permission.

Dear Chancellor Wise,

I am writing with regard to your decision not to forward Professor Steven Salaita’s appointment to the Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois. As reported by Inside Higher Ed on August 6, this decision turned on the contents of Professor Salaita’s Twitter feed, specifically on his statements about Israel. While I do not share Professor Salaita’s sentiments with regard to content, and find them…

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