I received permission from Gregory Scholtz, Director, A.A.U.P. Department of Academic Freedom, Tenure and Governance, to release this letter:
December 30, 2014
Dr. Phyllis Wise
Chancellor, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Swanlund Administration Building
601 East John Street Champaign, Illinois 61820
Dear Chancellor Wise:
The approval and December 23 release by the UIUC Senate Committee on Academic Freedom and Tenure (CAFT) of its investigating committee’s report has certainly confirmed our belief that the issues raised by the case of Professor Steven Salaita are of the highest importance for the University of Illinois and higher education nationally, calling for an AAUP investigation and report.
The CAFT report upon its arrival was distributed to the membership of our standing Committee A on Academic Freedom and Tenure, the AAUP body responsible for the release and potential publication of investigative reports, and members of Committee A have been examining the CAFT report during the holiday break. Our staff executive director, who is responsible for authorizing investigations, has determined that in this case charging an AAUP ad hoc committee with conducting a site visit as the basis for a report would be redundant at best. The CAFT subcommittee has investigated essentially the same issues as would an ad hoc AAUP committee, assessing actions and positions taken in the Salaita case in the context of both UIUC official policies and AAUP-supported standards, which, more often than not, are identical. The executive director has accordingly asked Committee A to approve a report based on the CAFT report, including its three appendices, that will provide Committee A’s own findings and recommendations, which may agree or disagree in whole or in part with those of CAFT.
We expect within the next week or two to provide the concerned parties at UIUC with a draft text, inviting corrections and comments that Committee A will consider in approving a final text for publication.
Anita Levy, Ph.D.
Cc: Chair Christopher Kennedy, University of Illinois Board of Trustees
President Robert A. Easter, University of Illinois
Dean Barbara Jan Wilson, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
Chair Roy H. Campbell, Senate Executive Committee
Robert Warrior, American Indian Studies Program
UIUC Committee on Academic Freedom and Tenure:
David J. O’Brien, Chair, Fine and Applied Arts
Andrew G. Alleyne, Engineering
Melody M. Allison, Library
Matthew W. Finkin, Law
K. Gunsalus, Engineering
Christopher Roy Higgins, Education
Mark D. Steinberg, Liberal Arts and Sciences
President Harry Hilton, UIUC AAUP Chapter
Chair Bruce Rosenstock, Campus Faculty Association
Chair Henry Reichman, Members, and Consultants, Committee A on Academic Freedom and Tenure, AAUP
Julie Schmid, Executive Director, AAUP
President Michael Harkins, President, Illinois AAUP Conference
Chair Peter Kirstein, Chair, Illinois AAUP Conference Committee on Academic Freedom and Tenure