Friday, January 30, 2015

Going After the Donors

Inside Higher Ed
January 30th, 2015

No one following the Steven Salaita case was surprised Thursday when the displaced scholar announced he’s suing top administrators of the University of Illinois System and its Urbana-Champaign campus. Salaita had been trying for months to force the university to give him back the tenured professorship in the American Indian studies program he says is his. The institution, meanwhile, has continued to stand behind its decision to rescind the appointment -- which it argues wasn’t yet final -- due to the tenor of Salaita’s anti-Israel tweets.
But the seemingly inevitable lawsuit, filed in a U.S. district court in Illinois, contained a twist: Salaita is also suing the John Doe donors he says illegally interfered in his contractual agreement with the university. Legal experts call the move creative, if not realistic, and relatively rare among higher education claims.

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