The Harsh and Unjust Punishment of Marc Lamont Hill The Harsh and Unjust Punishment of Marc Lamont Hill
The attacks on the professor are a threat to academic freedom and the criticism of Israeli human-rights abuses.
Dec 4, 2018 / David Palumbo-Liu
Why Berkeley’s Battle Against White Supremacy Is Not About Free Speech Why Berkeley’s Battle Against White Supremacy Is Not About Free Speech
The alt-right’s First Amendment narratives just give cover to campaigns of intimidation.
Israel Unleashes an Onslaught on Human-Rights NGOs, Artists, and Writers Israel Unleashes an Onslaught on Human-Rights NGOs, Artists, and Writers
The new wave of McCarthyite smears and repressive laws is unprecedented.
Feb 26, 2016 / David Palumbo-Liu
Steven Salaita, Professor Fired for ‘Uncivil’ Tweets, Vindicated in Federal Court Steven Salaita, Professor Fired for ‘Uncivil’ Tweets, Vindicated in Federal Court
A federal judge has allowed his lawsuit against the University of Illinois to proceed, and the chancellor who rescinded his appointment last year has resigned amid an ethics invest...
Aug 11, 2015 / David Palumbo-Liu
Why Is a Notorious Free-Speech Censor Being Given a Platform at a Major Academic Gathering? Why Is a Notorious Free-Speech Censor Being Given a Platform at a Major Academic Gathering?
Leading intellectuals are outraged that Monique Canto-Sperber, who famously quashed two events sponsored by Israel critics, is being given the stage to discuss “freedom of sp...
Apr 23, 2015 / David Palumbo-Liu
‘Unhiring’ Steven Salaita ‘Unhiring’ Steven Salaita
In early August, the website Inside Higher Ed reported that at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), an official offer of a tenured professorial appointment had been rescinded by a top administrative officer. That alone would have been unusual, but concerns grew after sources close to the decision-making process reported that Chancellor Phyllis Wise was responding to calls and e-mails about Professor Steven Salaita’s acerbic and emphatic anti-Israel tweets. Once scholars heard of this, protests erupted: 17,000 signatures have been gathered criticizing the decision, and 3,000 professors are boycotting UIUC. The American Association of University Professors issued a statement declaring that social media expression is private and protected speech, and that the use of “civility” as a litmus test—which the university now admits in rescinding the hire of Salaita—is unacceptable. Please support our journalism. Get a digital subscription for just $9.50! The University of Illinois board of trustees insists that “speech that promotes malice is not an acceptable form of civil argument if we wish to ensure that students, faculty and staff are comfortable in a place of scholarship.” However, the US Department of Education has determined that students’ “comfort” is not as important as free debate. There are three important issues here. First, universities are increasingly being asked to shut down criticism of Israel. Second, a review of Salaita’s teaching evaluations at his former college, Virginia Tech, shows enthusiastic appreciation of his teaching and interactions with students. Hence, the trustees’ decision is based entirely on a hypothetical potential harm to students caused by his allegedly offensive tweets. Third, the chancellor and trustees at UIUC have broken a covenant with their faculty. Faculty governance is the mainstay of the educational process. Many trustees, on the other hand, have no background in higher education; they are there primarily to safeguard and grow the endowment. What is startling about the Salaita case is that the board let its protection of the bottom line completely overshadow the university’s educational mission and hid these financial motives behind the notion of “civility.” Read Next: Noam Chomsky on the BDS movement
Why the ‘Unhiring’ of Steven Salaita Is a Threat to Academic Freedom Why the ‘Unhiring’ of Steven Salaita Is a Threat to Academic Freedom
Under the spurious claim of protecting “civility,” the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has caved in to the McCarthyite bullying of the Israel lobby.
Aug 27, 2014 / David Palumbo-Liu