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MLA and Other Groups Urge U. of Illinois to Rethink Decision Not to Hire Critic of Israel

The leaders of the Modern Language Association and other scholarly groups have added their voices to the chorus of academics calling on the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign to reconsider its decision not to hire a professor who has drawn scrutiny for his harsh criticisms of Israel.

Steven G. Salaita had been offered a job as a tenured professor of American Indian studies, but his appointment was subject to approval by the university’s Board of Trustees. The university told Mr. Salaita it would not bring his appointment before the board, saying it believed the board’s approval was unlikely.

Many scholars in a variety of disciplines have signed petitions pledging to avoid the university until it reverses its decision to revoke the job offer. The executive council of the Modern Language Association, the executive committee of the American Studies Association, and the Arab American Studies Association have all called on Illinois to reconsider its decision.

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