30 January 2016

Sending Up My Periscope

You know how Garrison Keillor always started his Prairie Home Companion with, "It's been a ____________ week here in Lake Woebegone"?  Seems like I could start this post with, "It's been a weird few months here at the University of Illinois," but that's how I DID start a number of posts in the thick of L'Affaire Salaita, and it's now over, so it doesn't feel quite right.

Things are still weird though.

For those wondering where we left off: Salaita got a settlement from the U of I that was less than many people had expected but more than the commentators in the local paper could stomach. Chancellor Wise has been replaced by Interim Chancellor Wilson (of the LAS Department of Communications), Provost Adesida has been replaced by Interim Provost Feser (of the College of Fine and Applied Arts), the new President has deftly skirted any engagement with the controversy, and all of us here in the humanities are breathing a little easier.  

Well, except that AIS is a shattered remnant of its former self.  

And except that no one knows who the permanent replacements in the chain of command will be.

And, yeah, THIS: except that nobody in public education in Illinois is breathing easy in the absence of a state budget and the presence of a governor who seems determined to run every institution of learning into the ground.  Breathing easy?  We're eyeing the pressure gauges on this sinking submarine and the oxygen tanks.

So I've been sublimating my ranting activity into my job, and blogging in new ways for a different audience.