The Oberlin Review

Katlin Letter Distorts UIUC Motives in Salaita Case

Jade Schiff, Politics department

February 27, 2015

To the Editors: In their letter in last week’s Review, Andrew and Fisher Katlin distorted both my views and the issues at stake in Steven Salaita’s treatment by UIUC. The Katlins are correct that mine was not a balanced argument. I believe UIUC’s handling of the case was unambiguously wrong. Salaita has plenty of critics, and they are free to make their case, as the Katlins have attempted to do. However, I made no implicit or explicit reference to Salaita’s First Amendment rights, as they claim that I did. I don’t see these rights as the source of the controversy at all. No one, to my knowledge, has claimed that Salaita did not have the right to say what he said, however offensive it might be. He was n...

UIUC Correct in Rejecting Salaita

Andrew Katlin and Fisher Katlin

February 20, 2015

To the Editors: My son and I came to visit Oberlin on Feb. 16. [My son being] a prospective student, we thought it would give some insight into the school reading the current issue of The Oberlin Review. In the issue was an “interview” with Steven Salaita. I put interview in quotes, as it more properly should have appeared alongside [Professor of Politics] Jade Schiff ’s Letter to the Editor. Both belonged there, as they were both completely devoid of anything remotely approaching a balanced or even truthful description of why Salaita was ultimately rejected as fit to represent the University of Illinois as a professor. According to both the interview and the letter, poor Steven’s First Amendment rights...

Salaita Case Highlights Donor Influence in Higher Ed

Jade Schiff, Politics department

February 13, 2015

To the Editors: Like Students for a Free Palestine and many other campus organizations and academics around the world, I condemn the revocation of Steven Salaita’s job at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign by Chancellor Phyllis Wise. Like them, I also think that free expression and academic freedom are at stake. But this analysis misses the root of the problem. The academy is not exactly notorious for being anti-Palestinian. On the contrary, university professors tend to be liberal or left-leaning, to the delight of some and the chagrin of others. Tellingly, Salaita sailed through every academic hurdle to his appointment. It was blocked by Chancellor Wise, but the Board of Trustees did not merely affirm...

Off the Cuff: Steven Salaita, pro-Palestinian activist and professor of American Indian studies

Off the Cuff: Steven Salaita, pro-Palestinian activist and professor of American Indian studies

February 13, 2015

Steven Salaita is a professor of English and American Indian studies and a pro-Palestinian activist. Last August, he had his offer of employment with the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign rescinded when he made a series of tweets that sharply criticized the Israeli government during Operation Protective Edge. Salaita had not yet begun teaching at UIUC but had received a formal offer and had already resigned from his previous position at Virginia Tech when the Board of Trustees at UIUC vot...

SFP Expresses Solidarity with Dismissed UIUC Professor Salaita

Students for a Free Palestine

February 6, 2015

To the Editors: On Aug. 1, 2014, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Chancellor Phyllis Wise revoked the tenured position of Professor Steven Salaita, citing the latter’s Twitter posts that searingly criticized the Zionist state of Israel as evidence that he could not engage in “civilized” political discussion on campus. On Sept. 11, the University’s Board of Trustees voted to support Chancellor Wise’s decision not to reinstate Professor Salaita, a widely renowned Palestinian-American professor of American Indian Studies who had left a tenured position at Virginia Tech to accept his new post at UIUC. His tweets specifically condemned Operation Protective Edge, a ground offensive carried out by the...

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