More Details on Salaita Settlement with University of Illinois

The Daily Illini, the student paper at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, has been a very reliable source on the tenure travesty of Dr Steven Salaita. They report that Dr Salaita will receive directly a settlement of $600,000, with another $275,000 going to his attorneys. There is, of course, no job restoration, and the University of Illinois is not required to concede any violation of the AAUP’s guidelines and principles on academic freedom, shared governance and due process.

I had heard during the June, AAUP annual meeting in Washington, D.C., from a member of the investigating committee that had visited the University of Illinois campus, that Dr Salaita was possibly offered $850,000, which represented a ten-year multiple of his initial contractually promised salary of $85,000. The $600,000 that Dr Salaita will receive would represent slightly more than seven years of salary: not calculating what would presumably have been an increase in remuneration.

It is not for me to second guess Dr Salaita and his attorneys, who have so nobly represented him throughout his dismissal for antiwar tweets on the Gaza bombardment in 2014. However, Illinois taxpayers, in a state without a budget and in near fiscal paralysis, are ultimately the payers of this settlement. The University of Illinois has already spent, according to the Chicago Tribune$1,300,000 in legal fees to persecute and ban from campus a defender of non-combatant immunity in wartime. Whether taxpayers should have received more for their money, is an issue for others to decide.

The board of trustees, which was a major perpetrator of the ideological purging of Professor Salaita, approved the settlement, in a 9-1 vote, at a meeting in Chicago today. I presume they had previously been consulted, and were fully cognizant that the settlement does not require the restoration of Dr Salaita to the professoriate.

One thought on “More Details on Salaita Settlement with University of Illinois

  1. I tried multiple times to pass on to the DI the information I’d been learning by my FOIAs; at no point did they pick up that information and run with it. So I don’t know where you get the idea that they’ve been a good source of information. Of course, part of the reason for their negligence may have been that, when I passed information to Eli Murry, their seemingly one good reporter, UIUC had a “conversation” with him a few days later about his FOIA filings (patterned on what I’d suggested) to find out if he was working with me. In other words, threatened him behind closed doors to find out his source. Which he gave them, because he wanted to preserve his “good” relationship with UIUC.

    But I digress. As I wrote in response to the earlier report of the settlement, UIUC is paying a very low price to bury facts that need to be disclosed if there’s to be any hope of this not happening again. CCR’s more than happy to see this end, because they can walk away leaving that question of Jewish entanglement floating, and my guess is that what they saw in discovery was that reports of such entanglement were VASTLY overstated.

    Which leaves things up to the AAUP; will it remove censure without demanding a full accounting. Keep in mind that the CAFT was lied to by Wise about who she consulted with, and quite possibly was not provided with appropriate information if, for example, CAFT actually asked for emails (I have no idea if they did, and they wouldn’t tell me, not even when I FOIAed them to find out).

    The AAUP is actually in the catbird seat now; they can demand at least some accounting, since the anger about Salaita persists because the $ paid are not the same as the job restored.

    So will the AAUP step up to the plate? Based on past performance, I highly doubt it. But of course I’d love to be proved wrong.

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