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U. of Illinois Must Release Thousands of Documents to Salaita, Judge Rules

A state judge has ordered the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign to turn over thousands of documents to Steven G. Salaita, whom the college decided not to hire last year after his anti-Israel tweets came to light, The News-Gazette reports. The university told the newspaper it planned to comply with the order.

Asserting that the university’s administration had bowed to the demands of wealthy donors, Mr. Salaita requested public documents relating to the decision not to hire him. When the university wouldn’t provide them, he sued.

The judge, Thomas J. Difanis of the Circuit Court for Champaign County, ruled that there is a public interest in releasing the documents that outweighs the burden placed on the university to comply with Mr. Salaita’s request.

Mr. Salaita was slated to become a tenured professor at the university last fall, but its Board of Trustees voted not to hire him after he was criticized for tweets critical of Israel. Mr. Salaita and his supporters have argued that the decision was a violation of academic freedom.

Mr. Salaita filed a broader lawsuit in January against university leaders and unnamed donors.

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