The Salaita Settlement and the Corporatization of the University

ACADEME BLOG

Last Friday, Inc. published an article on the Salaita settlement. Written by Joseph Steinberg, the article is titled “How a Single Social Media Blunder Cost a University $2 Million.” It provides advice on how institutions can avoid having to make similar settlements and avoid even more costly litigation and potentially larger settlements.

But it makes no distinction between universities and corporations as institutions, and it gives no explicit attention whatsoever to the central issue of academic freedom or, for that matter, to the problems inherent in the unprecedented manner in which Salaita was, in effect, de-hired.

The final sentence in what I will quote in this post does glance briefly in the direction of policies that would protect academic freedom, but Steinberg seems unaware that such policies were, very arguably, in place at the University of Illinois and violated by the university administration and Board of Trustees. And, in any case…

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