UIC Faculty Comes to Ayers' Rescue

Some say board made a routine academic decision personal

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
    AP
    Say goodbye to Bill Ayers, UIC.

    Faculty members at the University of Illinois at Chicago are asking their leadership to petition the school’s Board of Trustees to reconsider emeritus status for retired faculty member Bill Ayers.

    The board’s chair, Christopher Kennedy, told his fellow board members last week he could not support someone who had dedicated a book to the man who assassinated his father, Sen. Robert F. Kennedy

    The board voted unanimously to deny Ayers the status.

    Since the denial, some faculty members have expressed concern  that the board turned a routine academic decision into a personal one, reports the Chicago Tribune.

    Professor Elliott Kaufman asked the Faculty Senate to petition the board to reconsider.  He told the Tribune, “The chair had a conflict of interest and he put the other trustees in an impossible position.  He drew a dotted line between the assassination of the Kennedy brothers and giving Bill Ayers emeritus status.  The result is what we got and I just don’t think it was a fair way to do it.”

    The UIC Senate Executive Committee will consider the issue next week, said Committee Chair Philip Patston according to the Tribune.

    Ayers has not commented publicly on the status denial.

    Ayers was a Vietnam War-era radical and founder of the Weather Underground, an organization who bombed government buildings in the early 1970s. He joined the faculty of the School of Education at UIC in 1987.