In a very unusual move, University of Illinois trustees Thursday denied giving emeritus status to controversial retired professor William Ayers.He'll have to find somewhere else to write his next book. Post-retirement. Spill your guts, Bill. Sans emeritus.
The vote, at a U. of I. board meeting in Urbana, was unanimous and came after a passionate speech by board chair Christopher Kennedy, who invoked the 1968 assassination of his father, Sen. Robert F. Kennedy, in saying that he was voting his conscience.
The other trustees, without comment, also voted against the appointment.
Ayers, the Vietnam War-era radical, had been an education faculty member at UIC since 1987. He retired effective Aug. 31 and then sought the emeritus faculty status, a largely honorific title that includes some benefits such as library privileges.
The Sirhan Sirhan dedication was in one of his first.
The Tribune "reporter" puts "terrorist" in quotes, suggesting that only Ayers' opponents would characterize him that way--but Ayers himself said he thought he didn't bomb enough and had no regrets. That interview came out on Sept. 11th, 2001. (I think it was in the NY Times.) Would you call Bill Ayers a liar?
As for the reporter's notion of non-fatal bombings, well. And sadly his girlfriend couldn't corroborate his story.
Will he be out whining to the press about this latest indignity?
More. Full text. Chris Kennedy spoke to the Sun Times afterwords:
"There can be no place in a democracy to celebrate political assassinations or to honor those who do so."
Later, Kennedy told the Chicago Sun-Times he and the board have not seen any signs of remorse from Ayers in the nearly 40 years since the dedication.