Dr. Steven Salaita’s proposed appointment was initiated, reviewed, approved, and processed in accordance with all applicable university procedures from the initiation of the search through his acceptance of an offer of appointment. It was complete except for final Board of Trustees approval. At that point, less than a month before his projected start date, concerns about his professional suitability for appointment arose and he was notified that his appointment would not be forwarded for that approval. Eventually, it was forwarded for Board approval and was rejected. His status at the time was complex: he was more than an applicant and less than an employee. Under these circumstances,we believe the academic freedom and liberty of political speech afforded to members of the faculty by the University Statutes should reasonably apply.
The process by which Dr. Salaita’s proposed appointment was withdrawn and eventually rejected did not follow existing policies and procedures in several substantial respects, raising questions about the institution’s commitment to shared governance.