U of Illinois OKs settlement with professor over job offer

Steven Salaita
FILE - In this Oct. 13, 2015 file photo, professor Steven Salaita speaks at the Independent Media Center in Urbana, Ill. On Thursday, Nov. 12, 2015, the University of Illinois announced a proposed agreement to pay $600,000 plus legal costs to the professor who lost his job offer over a series of anti-Israel tweets. Its trustees are expected to vote on the deal in Chicago. (Robin Scholz/The News-Gazette via AP File) MANDATORY CREDIT

CHICAGO (AP) — The University of Illinois will pay a professor who lost his job offer over a series of anti-Israel tweets $600,000 plus legal costs.

The school’s board of trustees approved the settlement with Steven Salaita on Thursday by a 9-1 vote after releasing terms of the deal. The school and Salaita’s attorneys say the total value comes to $875,000.

School officials say the agreement settles Salaita’s lawsuit against the university. The university admits no wrongdoing and Salaita will not be hired.

Salaita called the settlement “vindication” and a victory for academic freedom.

He was offered a job starting in fall 2014. Then-Chancellor Phyllis Wise rescinded the offer after his tweets objecting to Israeli action against Palestinians.

Salaita maintained that he had already been hired and his speech was protected by tenure.

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