Steven Salaita chose to tell us his side of the story of the termination of his candidacy for tenure at the University of Illinois. I am glad that the Tribune chose to publish his remarks.
University professors enjoy great latitude regarding freedom of expression. They are granted this latitude through the implementation of the concept of "academic freedom," a concept applied to no other segment in this society. While he violated no law, Salaita abused the noble concept of "academic freedom" through his use of social media, dragging it into the mud of vulgarity and incitement to hatred. He must face the consequences of that abuse.
Politicians, sports personalities, business leaders and entertainers who make crude, vulgar and hateful remarks about African-Americans, gays, Poles, Jews, women or Native Americans face similar rejection. While our Constitution protects our freedom of speech, those who engage in uncivilized discourse may still be held to account by employers and by the public at large.
I join thousands of other U. of I. alumni in commending the courageous decision to reject Salaita's candidacy for a tenured position at the University of Illinois. Surely we can do much better than Salaita.
— Michael A. Myers, Chicago