As We Wait …

Dear News-Gazette:

It will likely be a miracle to rival the parting of the red sea if UIUC actually releases any of the details of the Salaita affair, or the ethics report(s) around Wise’s misconduct and those of her cronies.  As someone said above, given that they’re apparently printing money at the admin building, it’s clear that they’ll be more than happy to spend whatever it takes to bury the facts, on the theory that the best way to learn from this tragedy is to conceal, dissemble, and run like heck from the truth.

Oh well.  The other question is how much respect do we appropriately have for Salaita if he settles without there being some truth-telling.  On the one hand, he has kids to take care of, and I think any parent would understand that children run on money as well as love.  Also I’m sure the controversy hasn’t been especially good for his health — I know there are many who think he’s a publicity hound, but his talk at the IMC a few weeks ago was chock-full of shyness and missed opportunties to bang the drum everyone seems to think he likes to whack.

But if Salaita really does believe in speaking truth to power, what do we think of him if his settlement involves the continued supression of the truth?  He’s in an incredible position, in that his lawyers are as far as I know basically working for free — the Center for Consitutional Rights (CCR) took his case as part of their own agenda of (in a rosy view) supporting dissident voices (especially Palestinan ones) and (in my pessimists view) of creating a story about “the Joos” acting in concerted fashion to suppress those dissident voices.  So he could continue to push the issue, and goodness knows there’s more than a little there to pursue: destroying documents, pretending they didn’t know personal emails were subject to FOIA, one little conspiracy after another, utter disregard for university procedure, policy, or the law …

I have the bad feeling the only thing we *might* get in the way of “disclosure” is the 10,000 emails (you know, Minnesota is the land of 10,000 lakes, central Illinois is the land of 10,000 emails).  But even that’s not sure, it’s been 6 months and counting.

And of course, even if UIUC does release those emails, you can bet they’ll be a sea of mostly blacked out text, especially since, with Salaita’s settling, who’s going to push back to get the blacking out removed?

(Comment on Salaita Settlement)

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