U of Illinois Trustees Will Let James Kilgore Teach Again
Nov 14, 2014 — Message from James Kilgore:
Yesterday the University of Illinois Board of Trustees agreed to allow campus units to re-employ me. After nine months of going back and forth on this issue, we have won. This victory could not have been won without the support of all those who signed petitions, sent email messages to the Administration and Board members, and raised the issues involved on campus and beyond. I thank all of you who signed this petition for your support. I offer a special thank you to my family the Friends of James Kilgore and the 310 University of Illinois faculty who signed a local petition on my behalf.
This is a victory on three fronts. First, giving back the power to unit heads and department heads to hire faculty and staff is a triumph for academic freedom. In light of the recent abrogation of academic freedom in the de-hiring of Professor Stephen Salaita at the University of Illinois, however, this is a very small step forwards. Much more needs to be done. I send my solidarity to Stephen Salaita, his family and supporters. We must continue to back his cause. Second, this is a victory for those who have a criminal record and are denied employment on the basis of their past. It is time that the 70 million people in the US with criminal records are given full human rights, including the right to compete on a level playing field for employment. Lastly this is a win for those who work on contract in higher education, the adjunct and contingent faculty who live a precarious existence from contract to contract, without benefits and security. We need some protection from arbitrary hiring and firing with no avenues of appeal.
None of this could have been accomplished without all of you. Once again, I thank you all. As we say in southern Africa, a luta continua-the struggle continues.
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