Message from Patrick Keilty on the Salaita dismissal

Dear Colleagues,

Some of you may have heard about the recent controversy surrounding Professor Steven Salaita, who was dismissed from his tenured faculty position by the Chancellor and Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, for controversial statements he made on Twitter.

I am writing to ask you to consider signing a petition of LIS practitioners and scholars in support of Professor Salaita’s intellectual freedom and freedom of speech.

The American Association of University Professors lays out the facts of the case in their letter to the Chancellor.

You can also see a letter of concern from the American Historical Association, and another letter from the American Anthropological Association.

Brian Leiter, a constitutional law professor at the University of Chicago, outlines the constitutional ramifications of UIUC’s decision.

As of this writing, eleven departments at UIUC have taken votes of no confidence in the Chancellor, a national conference held at UIUC has been canceled, and countless speakers have pulled out of speaking engagements at UIUC. Thousands of scholars have signed petitions in support of Professor Salaita, including discipline-specific petitions. You can find one petition of scholars here.

I ask you to please consider signing the petition of LIS practitioners and scholars.

Thank you.

All best,

Patrick Keilty
Assistant Professor
Faculty of Information
University of Toronto

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