Is it time for the University of Illinois to offer Steven Salaita a job?
Writing in the Chicago Tribune, Northwestern law professor Steven Lubet argues that it is time for the University of Illinois to offer Steven Salaita a tenured position and put an end to his litigation against the school. His op-ed begins:
The University of Illinois should bite the bullet and offer a job to controversial scholar Steven Salaita, who was denied an appointment by the Urbana-Champaign campus last year due to his vile ravings about Israel. Although Salaita's tweets often crossed the line from criticism of Israel to blatant anti-Semitism, the contretemps is still best resolved by giving him a position in the department of American Indian studies for the following three reasons: the cost of further litigation, the damaging impact of the situation on academic freedom, and the unfortunate lionization of Salaita-the-victim, despite his hate-filled views.
[For those who don't wish to register on the Tribune Web site, there are more excerpts here.]
Not only was the university's motion to dismiss the suit rejected, but also recent disclosures cast university officials in an even more unflattering light. If the university doesn't settle, things are likely to get worse for the school before they get better.