Most academics are familiar with one or more well-publicized incidents in which professors were suspended, were fired, or had a hiring contract rescinded because of controversial statements they had made on social media. That common denominator should give pause to all academics who value their jobs.
Steven Salaita, a tenured associate professor of English at Virginia Tech, was preparing to change jobs and move to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His contract had been negotiated, and his appointment was all but assured, though it had not been approved by the Board of Trustees, when he tweeted scathingly critical comments about Israel's treatment of Palestinians. When the offending tweets came to the attention of faculty members, administrators, and, perhaps most influentially, outraged donors, Salaita's job offer was rescinded, his contract canceled.
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