Monday 8 August, 2014
Board of Trustees
University of Illinois
Dr Phyllis Wise
Chancellor, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Dear Members of the Board
Dear Chancellor Wise
Please find attached a pledge by 550 philosophers to, at the minimum, refuse visits to UIUC; some will no doubt go further and refuse to write promotion and tenure letters, refuse to recommend students, and pursue other means at their disposal to isolate the University as the result of the actions of Chancellor Wise. We join thousands of other academics in many disciplines in making this stand; we will not waver and are committed to this for as long as necessary. Our signers come from big and small institutions; they are established figures and brave early career folks; they come from the US, Canada, the UK, France, Austria, and a number of other countries.
We ask that you reverse the ill-considered decisions and statements of 2 August and 22 August, and instead affirm Professor Salaita’s offer, which was given and accepted in good faith. Vital principles of academic freedom and faculty governance are at stake and so the case is being very widely discussed all across the academic world.
Academic freedom has immeasurably enriched American society by offering room for vigorous and spirited debate. By making the decisions you did, you have damaged a great tradition in American civic life and grievously harmed the reputation of the university, which until now had been among the greatest in the country.
It is not too late to undo the harm you have done. By reversing course and doing the right thing here in the Salaita case, your role in affirming this great tradition will be long remember and celebrated.
Respectfully yours, on behalf of the signatories
Chair, Department of French Studies
Phyllis M Taylor Professor of French Studies
Professor of Philosophy
416 Hodges Hall
Louisiana State University
Baton Rouge LA 70803 USA
As with all the other signatories, my affiliation is here given for identification purposes only and does not imply I speak as a representative of my institution.