We have read with concern yesterday's report on insidehighered.com that the University of Illinois has apparently withdrawn a job offer to Professor Steven G. Salaita. It appears that this decision came in response to the tone of his controversial comments on Twitter about the Israeli military action in Gaza. Because both Professor Salaita and the university administration have so far declined public comment, a number of facts concerning this case remain unclear. In particular, it is not certain whether the job offer had already been made in writing when Professor Salaita was informed that he would not be hired and hence whether or not Salaita could be considered to have already acquired the rights accruing to a faculty member at Illinois.
However, if the information communicated in yesterday's report is accurate, there is good reason to fear that Professor Salaita's academic freedom and possibly that of the Illinois faculty members who recommended hiring him have been violated.