Steven Salaita Sues U. of Illinois in Records Dispute

Steven G. Salaita, the scholar who saw the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign revoke his job offer after he made harsh criticisms of Israel on social media, has filed a lawsuit accusing the university of violating the state’s open-records law, the Chicago Tribune reported.

Mr. Salaita became the public face of a debate about academic freedom after the university rescinded an offer of a tenured professorship in its program in American Indian studies. Many scholars criticized the university’s handling of his case, and Mr. Salaita vowed to wage a legal fight if he was not reinstated.

Mr. Salaita’s complaint seeks to force the university to turn over emails related to his aborted job offer, asserting that the university had responded improperly to a request made under the state’s open-records law.

U. of I. spokesman Thomas Hardy, the university’s chief records officer, said school officials had not yet seen the lawsuit.

“We’ll review it carefully and defend the university’s interests,” Hardy said.

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