I only this morning came across the gloss UIUC has put on its “supplemental” emails release in the Salaita Affair, the College of Medicine (COM), and the Kilgore matter. Specifically, UIUC had this to say on August 7 about the release of these “supplemental” emails:
Today the University is publicly releasing emails from personal email accounts related to James Kilgore, Steven Salaita, and the proposed Carle Illinois College of Medicine, whether they were subject to FOIA or not. This should fulfill the specific incomplete FOIA requests, and the additional emails around those three subjects are being released in the interest of transparency and disclosure.
Now I am always moved to tears by statements of beneficence rooted in transparency (and disclosure!), and so I experienced a brief moment of a sudden warm surge in my chest at the extraordinary steps UIUC had taken.
And then, I realized it was just more heartburn.
Because here’s the deal: what this “disclosure” is not is a full release of all the OTHER nastiness that this group of people have distributed between one another on their personal email accounts, nastiness which is university business.
Consider that Wise was not the only person to use her personal email to conduct university business: if, for example, you review the Salaita “supplemental” emails you’ll see multiple instances of imperfect redaction of email addresses, imperfect redactions where it’s clear that the email address ended in “.com” and NOT “.edu”.
Thus far, I can show that Ade, Nick Burbules, Joyce Tolliver and Robin Kaler were using .com emails, i.e., were using non-university emails. And they were using these emails to communicate with one another, sometimes including Wise, sometimes not.
What’s the total of what they were discussing? Well, again, these are “supplemental” emails, SOLELY on Salaita, the COM and Kilgore. We don’t know how UIUC decided what fell into those categories; and we certainly don’t know what else is out there in the way of these discussions of university business using personal emails that UIUC hasn’t produced.
We could find out if someone wants to FOIA UIUC. OR we could demand REAL transparency and disclosure, which would require UIUC sua sponte release the rest of this stuff – redacted of course where appropriate.
Will either event occur? Stay tuned.