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CFA Statement on Steven Salaita Settlement with the University of Illinois

On November 12, 2015, the University of Illinois reached a settlement with dismissed professor Steven Salaita, agreeing to pay him $600,000 (plus $275,000 to his lawyers) to settle the case. The UIUC Campus Faculty Association issued this statement:

CFA is happy Steven Salaita has accepted the settlement approved by the Board of Trustees. Compensating Dr. Salaita, however, is only a first step. Two major concerns remain unresolved.

First, the damage inflicted on the American Indian Studies Program must be made good. We call upon Chancellor Wilson and Dean Ross of the College of LAS to make recommendations about how at a minimum to restore the AIS Program to its former strength both in faculty lines and programming capacities. We also call upon Chancellor Wilson to take steps to move this campus decisively beyond the "Chief" era - through continued education, and by eliminating the use of music associated with the "dance" of the Chief during sports events.

Second, the intrusion of the Board of Trustees into academic policy and hiring decisions remains a serious problem. The prospect of such intrusions has increased rather than decreased, over the past year. The Board now asserts a right to intervene in any individual hiring case. Further, with their decision to subject every faculty hire to a background check, the Board has added a new hurdle in the hiring process - a hurdle with a racially discriminatory effect.

This university does not need a more interventionist Board in faculty hiring. We appeal to the Board of Trustees to explicitly delegate faculty hiring decisions to each campus, and to repeal their blanket background check policy.

Bruce Rosenstock, President Campus Faculty Association. UIUC