Salaita Accepts Academic Position in American Studies at American University of Beirut

According to the Champaign, Illinois News-Gazette, Steven G. Salaita has accepted a position with the American University of Beirut, Lebanon. See here. Most academics rarely recover from a summary dismissal, particularly when ethical and moral sentiments are expressed that induce controversy. Perhaps, the national attention that this tenure travesty generated may have facilitated this positive development, whereby, Dr. Salaita can resume his career as a professor that he so richly deserves. He stated on his Twitter feed that he was “thrilled” with this appointment at AUB.

My understanding, however, is that it is a one-year appointment off the tenure stream. Whether it is renewable or not, I don’t know. I was told that Dr. Salaita and his attorneys at the Center for Constitutional Rights will pursue their multi-faceted litigation against the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Here is the News-Gazette report:

Steven Salaita, the professor suing the University of Illinois for revoking his job last summer, has found a new academic position in Beirut.

Salaita will be chair of American Studies at the American University of Beirut in 2015-16, according to his Twitter post.

Salaita announced the news on Tuesday, tweeting: “I’m thrilled to announce that I will serve as the Edward W. Said Chair of American Studies at #AUB for the 2015-16 academic year,” he wrote.

Officials at the university could not immediately be reached for comment.

Salaita, a former English professor at Virginia Tech, accepted a job in October 2013 with the UI’s American Indian Studies program and planned to start teaching there last August.

But the university withdrew the job offer on Aug. 1, after Salaita posted a series of controversial tweets about Israel during its invasion of Gaza. The case sparked a nationwide debate about academic freedom and freedom of speech.

Salaita later sued to get his job back. The lawsuit is pending in federal court in Chicago.

2 thoughts on “Salaita Accepts Academic Position in American Studies at American University of Beirut

  1. That’s a good resolution to the Salaita problem. There are less than 200 domestic Jews left in the country, down about 99% from Israel’s founding. Those that are left know to keep their head down. Foreign Zionist Jews in Lebanon keep their mouth’s shut, mostly act like Christians and don’t mention Zionism ever. Salaita won’t be able to identify foreigners as Jews, and if they do get identified Salaita’s rhetoric will be the least of their problems. The few Jews who are openly Jewish are anti-Zionist left and so Salaita will be fine with them.

    America University in Beirut is nothing like UIUC. UIUC has a diverse healthy Jewish population not living in the shadows and in fear. The point of keeping Salaita out was so that Salaita couldn’t push UIUC to become like American University in Beirut. He can’t do any harm at AUB.

    So now Salaita has a job and UIUC has reformed their hiring process last step is the court ruling that there never was a contract nor a job offer. Then the AAUP can admit they didn’t investigate and the censure can be withdrawn.

    • A Palestinian voice gets driven out of the United States. Maybe that isn’t such a good resolution. I hope there are more voices like his in this country.

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