We are grateful to the many LIS professionals who have engaged with the University to discuss the reinstatement of Professor Salaita and to reiterate the principles of our profession to Chancellor Wise and others in the University’s administration. This gratitude extends to the many who feel the chilling effects of the University Board’s decision: professors, adjuncts, staff, students, and others who have signed petitions or taken other actions to protect the values of academic freedom at UIUC. Their actions shine light on the path we hope to take together, the path to maintaining a community environment that does not easily fall silent, succumb to uninformed opinions, and rush to reactionary decisions. We hope that other LIS professionals–students, professors, librarians, and more–will join us on the path toward resisting censorship and collusion by signing this open letter.
My fellow students and I publicly express our grief, disappointment, outrage, gratitude, empathy, and resolve. Most importantly, we show the strength of our commitment to intellectual freedom. We honor the communities of which we are part and the members who have raised their voices already. We write as ourselves, as individuals, as whole people. We do not claim to represent any established University institution, organization, or entity. Please share our open letter widely and join us.