As most observers predicted, the U. of I. was censured June 13 by the American Association of University Professors.
The voice vote for censure, the result of an AAUP investigation on the handling of the Steven Salaita appointment, was held at the AAUP's annual conference in Washington, D.C. It followed an earlier censure recommendation by its committee on academic freedom and tenure.
The AAUP report said Chancellor Phyllis M. Wise's decision not to recommend Salaita for a tenured position in the American Indian Studies Program violated the principles of academic freedom and due process.
Censure carries no specific sanctions, but being on the censure list is believed to affect a university’s academic reputation. It’s possible for the university to be removed from the list, but that’s not likely until the AAUP is satisfied hiring rules have been improved and after a settlement with Salaita is reached.
University officials had argued prior to the AAUP vote that great efforts had been made in the aftermath of the Salaita incident to address the issues highlighted in the AAUP investigation.
Following the June 13 vote, Wise said she and university leaders continue to cherish academic freedom and will keep working to improve hiring procedures and campus consultative practices.
“We have taken several key steps to address the concerns raised by AAUP,” she said. “We are disappointed to be the subject of an AAUP censure, and we want to support faculty who are impacted by this censure by demonstrating our unyielding commitment to the principles of academic freedom while remaining focused on the excellence in learning, discovery, engagement and economic development that are at the core of our mission.”