Things Get Worse at the University of Illinois at Chicago

It seems that the University of Illinois at Chicago is unable to change its course or respect academic freedom promises it made to its faculty. The university has harassed Jason Kilborn (one of its law professors) for over a year at its behest. Kilborn created a hypothetical for his civil procedure exam in which a former employee told an investigator that Plaintiff was “angry at him, and called her a “n____”, and “b____”. He then promised to remove Plaintiff from the university’s campus. Since then, he was suspended from teaching as students demanded that he be fired.

The university reached an agreement that would have resolved the issue, but it reneged and the university’s chancellor demanded that punishment be continued until the morale improves. In November, Academic Freedom Alliance addressed the university explaining how the university had violated academic freedom protections.

Brian Leiter reported the latest university demands against Professor Kilborn. He also included a link to the email sent by the university to Kilborn’s lawyer. Leiter observes that “the University of Illinois at Chicago” has gone insane.

On Friday, Professor Kilborn was informed by the university that he would not be teaching at UIC John Marshall Law School in Spring. He will still receive a salary and must still perform administrative duties so that he may participate in “re-education” programs that are quite time-intensive.  Alsterda – Download 21.16

A 8-week course of indoctrination will be offered to Professor Kilborn. It includes 20 hours of coursework and requires “self-reflection (self-criticism). Papers for the five modules will be provided. A trainer will then meet with Professor Kilborn every week for a 90-minute session. Three more weeks of vaguely-described supplemental meetings are planned with the trainer.  Since Professor Kilborn will be receiving feedback from the trainer regarding his engagement and commitment to program goals, disagreements about program content are probably not welcomed.

This is just chilling.

A lawyer supporting the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education’s new faculty defense fund represented Professor Kilborn. FIRE published this statement in November after the university had initially broken off with its agreement to Professor Kilborn.

UIC has reached a new low with this requirement. The university should immediately eliminate this unreasonable requirement. FIRE has the right to use every resource at its disposal in defense of professor Kilborn’s rights if they fail to do this.

It is unavoidable Professor Kilborn will need to defend his rights before the court. This is a disgraceful case for the University of Illinois.