University of Illinois Provost Ilesanmi Adesida will be resigning his position next week and returning to his faculty position in the College of Engineering.
No reason was given in the announcement this afternoon to the campus by acting chancellor Barbara Wilson, but Adesida was one of Phyllis Wise’s most trusted subordinates, and his personal emails were also revealed earlier this month. Although Adesida strongly supported Wise, the released emails show him as more of a bewildered figure rather than someone pushing for the firing of Steven Salaita.
An editorial in the Daily Illini declared, “Wise is not the sole problem to these issues; it is an entire administration.” As I told the Daily Illini in a news story, many people in the administration shared in the concealment of emails.
The question is, does the falling of all these dominos in the administration change anything? Will it make the reinstatement of Salaita, as advocated by 41 executive officers at the University of Illinois, more likely? That’s not clear. Often, a new administration under censure by the AAUP will seek to clean house and revise policies to end the censure. A settlement with Salaita seems unlikely unless the University of Illinois is willing to reinstate him, and so long as the Board of Trustees remains committed to the firing of Salaita, a change in position is unlikely. But clearly, the pressure for reform is growing.