Shorter verbatim Phyllis Wise: “People are mixing up this individual personnel issue with the whole question of freedom of speech and academic freedom.”
This really says it all, doesn’t? “I believe in principles, so long as they never have to apply in individual cases. Especially if the development office is involved.” Joe Freeman Britt should have thought of this. “People are mixing up this individual criminal case with the whole question of due process and Maryland v. Brady and whether it’s appropriate to execute innocent people.”
And yet, it makes sense in its own perverse way. Salaita’s firing obviously cannot be squared with basic principles of academic freedom, even if UIUC can establish that it acted within its formal legal authority. Some UIUC apologists are willing to come out and say that academic freedom is just a racket and firing someone for their political views is perfectly OK, but Wise can’t say that either. So we’re left with pure distilled 100 proof nonsense.
…As expected, the vote goes 8-1 against Salaita. I have no idea how strong Salaita’s case will be under Illinois law, but if the lawsuit gets to discovery it will be interesting indeed.