Tagged Academic Freedom

How to Be Utterly Unreasonable (Corey Robin Edition)

Those who are closely tracking the Steven Salaita affair know that Corey Robin–who is a “political theorist” at Brooklyn College–has perhaps been Salaita’s most ardent defender and champion. This article profiles Robin. Note the following: In the Salaita case, Todd Gitlin faults Mr. Robin for failing to engage with the substance of Mr. Salaita’s tweets, at least as far as Mr. Gitlin has seen. Mr. Gitlin, a professor of journalism and sociology at Columbia University, points to this Salaita tweet from July: “There’s something profoundly sexual to the Zionist pleasure w/#Israel’s aggression. Sublimation through bloodletting, a common perversion.” As Mr. Gitlin views…

How Did Steven Salaita Ever Get an Offer from the University of Illinois in the First Place?

As I have written before, Steven Salaita likely has both a breach of contract claim and a First Amendment claim against the University of Illinois for revoking his job offer. But that doesn’t mean that he should have been offered a job in the first place, and one would hope that the University of Illinois–and other universities–will vet candidates more thoroughly in the future, before offering them tenured or tenure-track positions teaching students and conducting research. (And yes, this includes checking to see what candidates have written on social media.) I mean, how does someone with Salaita’s poor scholarship record actually…

On the Case of Steven Salaita

Don’t know who Steven Salaita is? Read this for background. And this, as well. Done? Good. And now, for my own take: Tablet Magazine has been on a roll with its coverage of the war between Israel and Hamas, and how big media news outlets have reported on the war. But in this editorial, I think they are off base. As reprehensible as Salaita’s tweets are, they are likely covered by the First Amendment, and unless the decision of the trustees at the University of Illinois really means something substantive in the hiring process–as opposed to being a pro forms affair–Salaita can…

I Don’t Agree with Dahlia Lithwick on Much . . .

But I agree with her on this, and I write this post as a supporter of same-sex marriage: Agree or disagree with him, University of Virginia law school professor Douglas Laycock has had a lengthy and distinguished academic career. As a scholar and advocate in the constitutional field of religious liberties, he has taken positions that have alarmed both the political left and the political right in about equal measure. He is currently representing a Muslim prisoner who wants to be able to grow a beard, in violation of prison regulations. He co-wrote an amicus brief in last year’s blockbuster United…

Want to Read about an Actual First Amendment Violation?

Look no further than this link. Unlike the Duck Dynasty imbroglio, this case features an actual governmental actor, engaging in speech restrictions that are very likely unconstitutionally vague. The restrictions on academic freedom are, of course, outrageous; even tenured professors would end up being wary about using social media in order to publicize their work under the restrictions that have been set by the Kansas Board of Regents. Here’s hoping that the policy gets reversed, and here’s also hoping that other universities do not adopt similar policies, which would cause chilling effects across academia.