Steven G. Salaita was blocked from joining the esteemed tenured faculty at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His position to be tenured faculty was contingent on the chancellor to vet the appointment for final approval with the university's board.
That's usually a formality, but not in this case. Chancellor Phyllis M. Wise blocked Salaita's appointment for his criticism of Israel on Twitter.
According to The Chronicle on Higher Education, "This case has arrived in the wake of numerous others in which online speech has resulted in censure and, in some cases, the enactment of new policies intended to restrict public speech. The decision to void Salaita’s hiring over criticizing Israel, already a polarizing topic in American academic culture, escalates the situation."
If you read the professor's Tweets, they are ugly and hateful. “You may be too refined to say it, but I’m not,” Salaita wrote shortly after three Israeli teenagers were kidnapped and murdered by Hamas terrorists, “I wish all the fucking West Bank settlers would go missing.”
Although I support free thought, I don't want to be associated with any organization that has anyone who doesn't respect all people on its payroll as evidenced in the Professor's Twitter feed.
Some claim that hiring decision is a violation of First Amendment Freedom of Speech rights. People can say whatever they want, it is a free country.
As someone who lives in Illinois and pays taxes, I don't want to support a state institution with hateful faculty. I'm glad I don't. Like it or not, the people represent the institution.
If "leading" thinkers want to spew what "they really think," let them have at it. They may jeopardize their privilege to teach at a prestigious state university.
What do you think?