Saturday, August 23, 2014

Links on the University of Illinois' termination of academic freedom

John K. Wilson reproduces Chancellor Wise's alarming letter. Every word of Wilson's critique (in the first four paragraphs of the linked post) is golden. Here's an excerpt:
Wise greatly expands the concept, declaring that not only persons but “viewpoints themselves” must be protected from any disrespectful words. I am puzzled as to exactly how a free university could possibly operate when no one is allowed to be disrespectful toward any viewpoint.
More by Wilson on the Salaita case at Illinois (Urbana-Champaign). Cary Nelson defends the opposing view. Scott Lemieux replies.

From Timothy Burke's letter:
I am not troubled by the idea that an acceptance of all students as they come to you is an important professional standard. ... But you must not measure adherence to this standard by reading what scholars or intellectuals say or write in the public sphere, whether in formal publication or in social media. ... Neither the University of Illinois nor any of the proponents of your decision have presented any evidence that Professor Salaita would be or has been unable to adhere to those ethics. The only evidence is a handful of tweets that really say nothing about how he approaches the classroom, how he mentors students, how he participates in evaluation.
Brian Leiter:
It is not an exaggeration to say that the Chancellor and the Board of Trustees have now declared that the First Amendment does not apply to any tenured faculty at the University of Illinois.
Michael C. Dorf gives a very detailed examination of the relevant laws:
Academic freedom and freedom of speech protect all viewpoints, even those that are hostile to academic freedom or freedom of speech. Moreover, as I explain below, none of the peculiarities of Salaita’s case justifies the university’s revocation of its offer.
Corey Robin links to some of the many petitions protesting the University of Illinois' treatment of Salaita.

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