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Illinois’s Philosophy Dept. Declares No Confidence in University Leaders

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s philosophy department has approved a resolution expressing no confidence in the university’s leadership, The News-Gazette reported.

The resolution cites concerns about the university’s decision not to hire Steven G. Salaita, a professor who had been offered a tenured position in American Indian studies. Mr. Salaita’s job offer was subject to approval by the university’s Board of Trustees, and the university decided not to send his appointment to the board for its approval after Mr. Salaita drew scrutiny for tweets that were sharply critical of Israel.

Mr. Salaita’s case has sparked widespread protests from academics, many of whom have vowed to avoid the university unless it reverses its decision. Faculty members in the program Mr. Salaita had been set to join voted no confidence in Urbana-Champaign’s chancellor, Phyllis M. Wise, last week.

The university’s philosophy department on Thursday issued a resolution declaring its lack of confidence in Ms. Wise; the university’s president, Robert A. Easter; and the university’s board. The resolution states that the administration’s words and actions had shown “a culpable disregard not only for academic freedom and free speech generally but also for the principles of shared governance and established protocols for hiring, tenure, and promotion.”

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