- Associated Press - Thursday, October 29, 2015

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) - University of Illinois administrators hope to soon resolve the lawsuit brought by a professor who lost his job offer over a series of profane anti-Israel Twitter messages, interim Chancellor Barbara Wilson said.

Wilson told faculty members at a town hall Monday that the school is “working actively to resolve” the lawsuit brought by Steven Salaita, according to The News-Gazette in Champaign (https://bit.ly/1MvNkvX ).

“That’s really all I can say. We’re in litigation, and we’re very hopeful we will be able to resolve it soon,” Wilson said.

The university has previously said it was trying to negotiate a settlement with Salaita.

Salaita’s attorney was unavailable for comment this week, but said last week that work on the case was proceeding, according to the newspaper.

The university last year rescinded Salaita’s job offer over a series of his anti-Israel messages on Twitter. He has since taken a job at the American University of Beirut.

In his lawsuit, Salaita claims he had already been hired as a tenured professor and his speech should have been protected. The university has argued that university trustees had not yet taken the required step of approving Salaita’s hire.

Some faculty members were upset by the decision not to hire Salaita, and the American Association of University Professors put the university on its censure list, a sort of official reprimand from the academic group.

Wilson said she is working more on the Salaita lawsuit than “almost anything” else.


Information from: The News-Gazette, https://www.news-gazette.com

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