Attorneys for a professor who lost an offer to work at the University of Illinois because of anti-Israel Twitter messages expect the school's Board of Trustees to make a final decision on his employment on Thursday.
Steven Salaita was offered and accepted a job in 2013 to begin teaching this fall in the university's Native American Studies Program after working at Virginia Tech University. But after he wrote the sometimes-profane and, according to his critics, anti-Semitic tweets in July and August, Urbana-Champaign Chancellor Phyllis Wise informed him he wouldn't have a job.
Salaita's hire hadn't been approved yet by the Board of Trustees. That would be the final step in granting him tenure. His defenders say that the approval was a formality since professors regularly start work before the board OKs their appointments. They believe he was already affectively employed and his speech protected by tenure.
The trustees will hold their regular quarterly board meeting Thursday in Urbana. Their meeting agenda doesn't include a reference to Salaita. But the university has issued a news release saying that Wise, trustees Chairman Christopher Kennedy and university President Robert Easter will speak to reporters after the meeting. The release didn't specify the subject.
A decision is expected Thursday, Salaita attorney Maria LaHood said. Salaita has threatened legal action is he doesn't get the job.