Tag: University of Illinois

Illinois taxpayers are on the hook for the University of Illinois’s war on academic freedom

It’s been recently announced that the University of Illinois (U of I) reached a legal settlement with Stephen Saliata, who had a job offer revoked by the U of I because he tweeted his personal opinion about far-right Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, a staunch opponent of peace in the Middle East.

Last year, Saliata was offered a tenured professorship at the U of I. After the U of I received backlash from students, alumni, and donors who are to the Netanyahu regime in Israel than they are to America, the U of I pulled their offer of a tenured professorship from Saliata. Saliata rightfully sued the U of I for infringing on his First Amendment right to free speech and infringing upon academic freedom, and the lawsuit has now been settled, but not before the U of I is legally bound to pay out a total of $875,000, $600,000 of which will go to Saliata himself, and $275,000 of which will go to Saliata’s attorneys.

In short, Illinois taxpayers are on the hook for the U of I’s war on academic freedom and caving to pro-Israel interests. Had the U of I actually hired Steven Saliata, it would have cost Illinois taxpayers less than what it cost to settle the lawsuit over not hiring him for political reasons.

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Bruce Rauner wasting taxpayer money on a chief of staff for his wife, who has no official duties

Hypocrisy DefinitionBruce Rauner, the Republican governor of my home state of Illinois, is complaining about public employees being overpaid, which, as a recent study by the University of Illinois pointed out, is a myth.

However, in an article in the Davenport, Iowa-based Quad City Times that was primarily about the U of I study on public employee salaries, it was reported that Rauner hired a $100,000/year chief of staff for his wife, Illinois First Lady Diana Rauner:

The governor’s comments (about public employee salaries) also came as he is in the midst of building his own administration. On Tuesday for example, he hired a $100,000 chief of staff for his wife, Diana Rauner, even though the first lady has no official duties.

Bruce Rauner hiring a chief of staff for our state’s first lady, who has no official duties whatsoever, and paying the first lady’s chief of staff a whopping $100,000 per year salary is a hypocritical waste of taxpayer money. Let me emphasize that I am not attacking the first lady; I’m attacking the governor for wasting our taxpayer dollars. Our state’s fiscal problems are too severe for the governor to be hiring a chief of staff for someone who doesn’t have any official duties.