Salaita Lawyers in Court Tomorrow for F.O.I.A. Lawsuit

The Center for Constitutional Rights has issued this “media advisory” concerning tomorrow’s lawsuit over open-records claims under the Illinois Freedom of Information Act. The issue of donor influence on the Steven Salaita summary dismissal case is a key aspect of this struggle for academic freedom and academic due process. The battle for open records, under the Illinois Freedom of Information Act, between the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Professor Steven Salaita, is to determine the extent of external-party influence that may have played a role in the evisceration of shared governance and faculty-status procedures when his contract was voided last August. “John Doe” donors are currently defendants in another Salaita lawsuit:

Lawsuit Over UIUC Denial of Salaita Records in Court Friday

Urbana-Champaign – On Friday, February 13, Professor Steven Salaita’s attorneys will ask a state court to deny the University of Illinois’s efforts to dismiss the lawsuit he brought under the Illinois Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). Salaita’s FOIA suit seeks the release of the emails of 15 university officials, including correspondence with donors, surrounding his termination from a tenured faculty position last year over personal tweets about Israel’s bombardment of Gaza. The university initially denied the request as “unduly burdensome,” prompting the FOIA lawsuit. Anand Swaminathan of Loevy & Loevy will be arguing against the university’s attempt to have the lawsuit dismissed and to strike portions of the complaint.

For more information on this FOIA litigation and the civil rights lawsuit Salaita v. Kennedy, et al., see the Center for Constitutional Rights page: http://www.ccrjustice.org/Salaita

What:            

Oral argument in FOIA lawsuit against the University of Illinois seeking records relating to the firing of Professor Salaita

When:            

Friday, February 13, 2015, at 2:30 p.m. (CT)

Where:

Courtroom of the Hon. Thomas J. Difanis

Champaign County Courthouse

101 East Main Street

Urbana, Illinois

Nota bene: This F.O.I.A. case is separate from Salaita v. Kennedy, et al., the civil rights lawsuit filed against U.I.U.C. officials on January 29.

One thought on “Salaita Lawyers in Court Tomorrow for F.O.I.A. Lawsuit

  1. What is happening in academia with all these firings?? From the Chicago Tribune:

    Professor who lost U. of I. job offer lashes out at administrators

    “One of his more controversial posts was written in June, soon after three Israeli teens were kidnapped and later found dead. He wrote: “You may be too refined to say it, but I’m not: I wish all the (expletive) West Bank settlers would go missing.””

    What would happen to a professor who said about the three muslim people shot in Chapel hill “I wish all the muslims would go missing.” Think that person would be allowed to teach?? In our hyper sensitive environment to certain groups and subjects right now, I think not. Furthermore the university said:

    “Professor Salaita’s approach indicates that he would be incapable of fostering a classroom environment where conflicting opinions could be given equal consideration, regardless of the issue being discussed,” President Robert Easter said last month. “I am also concerned that his irresponsible public statements would make it more difficult for the University and particularly the Urbana-Champaign campus to attract the best and brightest students, faculty and staff.”

    “Marc Feldman, who said he drove five hours from Cleveland to attend Salaita’s speech, challenged Salaita on his views about Israel and those who support the country.

    Mirroring comments he made on Twitter, Salaita responded: “It is impossible to support Israeli policy without also implicitly supporting the deaths of those children. The two things go together. I don’t feel like you can separate them. It is those policies of the state that led to the deaths of those children, the murder of those children,” he said.”

    I guess I would be interested to know how the professor would handle a jewish or Israeli student who challenged him in class. Where has it been shown that the professor cannot give equal time to differing opinions? I did not look at the professors tweets and understand how he could become impassioned being a person of Palestinian decent but it seems to me again why not have an open debate?? It appears he debated someone that drove a long way to challenge him. Isnt that what a good professor should do? This appears to be the opposite of McAdams firing at Marquette, but along the same lines of “go along to get along.” Are we just going to have a bunch of milquetoast professors who all have to have the same opinions?? What fun would that be in college?? Then everything might as well just be online. Good grief.

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