By John Ruberry

The Democratic gubernatorial primary in Illinois is more than a year away but the field of candidates to challenge Republican incumbent Bruce Rauner is taking shape. On Thursday Christopher G. Kennedy, a son of Robert F. Kennedy, announced on YouTube that he’ll be running for the Democratic nomination for governor of America’s fifth-most populous state, after several abandoned flirtations with running for public office.

Kennedy is by no means a carpet-bagger, he’s lived in the Chicago area for three decades; he moved to Illinois to work at Chicago’s Merchandise Mart, which was once the jewel in the crown of the Kennedy family empire. The Mart was sold in 1998, but Kennedy still was the president of Merchandise Mart Properties from 2000-2012. He also served as chairman of the Chicago Convention and Tourism Bureau and the University of Illinois Board of Trustees; in the latter post Kennedy famously and correctly prevented Barack Obama’s terrorist pal, Bill Ayers, from receiving emeritus professor status after retiring from the University of Illinois at Chicago. A book by Ayers’ Weather Underground group was dedicated to a slew of creeps they described as political prisoners, including Sirhan Sirhan, the assassin of RFK.

As for the YouTube announcement, such a move on the surface appears to establish Kennedy’s credentials as a 21st-century candidate, but that tactic betrays his biggest flaw as a politician. He’s not a people person. I can’t remember who said it, but a wiser scribe than me said something along these lines about Hillary Clinton, “Some chefs can’t cook in front of an audience. And Hillary can’t do politics in front of people.”

And that’s Kennedy too.

Mark Brown of the Chicago Sun-Times alone of mainstream media mouthpieces noted the significance of the YouTube announcement. Kennedy prefers the safer climes of one-on-one and telephone interviews. And controlled environments such as YouTube.

At a gathering of Illinois delegates during the Democratic National Convention last year Kennedy gave a speech, after meeting with Illinois House speaker and Democratic boss Michael Madigan of Chicago, where he strongly criticized Rauner. The Republican reformer’s “turnaround agenda,” which includes such needed items as term limits, a ban on gerrymandering, and tort reform, has been blocked by Madigan, who until last month, enjoyed supermajorities in both chambers of the General Assembly.

After their DNC meeting, Madigan said that Kennedy would make “a very good candidate” for governor.

In his speech, Kennedy bemoaned the changing media landscape. “With the decline of daily newspapers and other media,” he said, “there is [sic] simply fewer reporters than there used to be to tell the rest of us the truth.”

As you’ll see here, a deer-in-the headlights Kennedy refused to answer questions from some of those remaining reporters, including a basic one from Fox 32 Chicago’s Mike Flannery, “Are you running for governor or not?”

Kennedy’s reply to that reporter? “Please, I don’t need to address you,” concluding with, “What have you become?” All he had to say was that he was still considering his options for the future.

Illinoisans–meet your snowflake candidate for governor, Generation X-er Chris Kennedy.

Since last week’s announcement Kennedy has been asked about Madigan–and in his replies he has either dodged the queries or countered with criticisms of Rauner, who three years ago became the first candidate for governor to win a majority of the vote since 2002.

Madigan is a one-man advertisement for term limits. He’s been a member of the General Assembly for 46 years and he’s been speaker of the state House since 1983, except for the two years in the 1990s when the Illinois Republican Party rode Newt Gingrich’s Contract with America campaign into power. Later this year Madigan will become the longest-serving state House speaker in American history. He’s also chairman of the Illinois Democratic Party. Members of the House or the state Senate who cross Madigan will find that campaign funding from the party will evaporate and they’ll be removed from meaningful committee assignments. If those rebels somehow survive, their political careers will be gerrymandered out of existence. Yes, Madigan controls redistricting.

And now for the exclamation point: Madigan’s daughter has been Illinois’ attorney general since 2003.

Illinois Policy Institute caricature of Madigan

Let’s put things another way. Imagine Illinois as a hockey game–with Mike Madigan as the puck and the goaltender on both ends of the rink. And in Madigan’s Illinois, which is not a fantasy version of the state, the players don’t move the puck around, the puck moves the players around. Watching the matchup is a declining base of fans–Illinois is one of the few states that is losing residents. With Madigan–the most powerful politician in Illinois even when there is a Democratic governor–in charge of the state, Illinois has the worst-funded public-public pension system and the lowest credit rating of the fifty states. And it has accumulated $11 billion in unpaid bills, despite the state constitutional requirements that all Illinois budgets be balanced.

But as Kennedy likes to remind people, Illinois hasn’t had a budget passed in two years–which he blames solely on Rauner—Kennedy just can’t find a way to criticize Madigan or even comment on him. In one of those telephone interviews, this one was a Quad Cities NPR affiliate, when he was asked about Madigan, Kennedy replied, “I have a good relationship with much of the leadership in the state–and I think it’s important to be able to work with others.”

Blogger outside of the Merchandise Mart a few years ago.

Snowflake Kennedy offers no solid answers as to how he’ll balance Illinois’ budget, fix the pension bomb, or stem the state’s population exodus.

But he’s a Kennedy. And he thinks it’s important to be able work with others.

Why is Chris Kennedy running for governor?

John Ruberry, a fifth-generation Illinoisan, regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit. Both of his parents voted for John F. Kennedy for president in 1960.

UICBy John Ruberry

“There’s not a liberal America and a conservative America. There’s the United States of America.” Barack Obama, Democratic National Convention, 2004.

Inspirational words, yes. But the spirit of the Democratic Party is now embodied by the leftist mob in Barack Obama’s hometown who packed the house at the UIC Pavilion, preventing a possible presidential successor, Republican Donald Trump, from speaking at a rally.

Speech codes and safe zones are as much as a part of the 21st college experience as cramming for finals, the UIC Pavilion is on the campus of the University of Illinois-Chicago, where ironically Obama crony and unrepentant terrorist Bill Ayers was a tenured professor. But speech codes have entered the political arena. Freedom of expression is acceptable for the left–as long as they agree with what is being said.

Oh, ironically Ayers was protesting Trump outside the Pavilion. I’m sure he was pleased by what he witnessed.

Trump’s forceful, and yes, sometimes abrasive remarks on Islamic terrorism and illegal immigration have altered the political dynamic and re-written the norms of political campaigning.

There are a number of ways people can responsibly respond to Trump. Among those possibilities are ignoring him, not voting for him, and peacefully protest him. And to responsible people–peacefully protesting does not mean screaming during rallies with the intent of disruption, aggressively confronting Trump supporters, or blocking traffic.

Leftists don’t agree.

And Barack Obama isn’t innocent in regards to this transformation. Four years after his DNC keynote address in Boston, Obama was the party’s nominee. While Obama and most of his campaign apparatus were in Denver for the 2008 convention, cerebral conservative Milt Rosenberg hosted author Stanley Kurtz for his WGN Chicago radio show, where he talked about Obama’s ties to Bill Ayers.

How did the Obama campaign respond?

With this email to its supporters:

In the next few hours, we have a crucial opportunity to fight one of the most cynical and offensive smears ever launched against Barack.

Tonight, WGN radio is giving right-wing hatchet man Stanley Kurtz a forum to air his baseless, fear-mongering terrorist smears. He’s currently scheduled to spend a solid two-hour block from 9:00 to 11:00 p.m. pushing lies, distortions, and manipulations about Barack and University of Illinois professor William Ayers.

Tell WGN that by providing Kurtz with airtime, they are legitimizing baseless attacks from a smear-merchant and lowering the standards of political discourse.

Call into the “Extension 720” show with Milt Rosenberg at (312) 591-XXXX. (I edited the number.)

(Show airs from 9:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. tonight)

Then report back on your call at http://my.barackobama.com/WGNstandards.

That cultish email is fascistic.

You will report about any insults about Dear Leader. Orders must be obeyed at all times. You will do as you are told.

Rosenberg explained to listeners that he repeatedly asked for someone from the Obama campaign–whose campaign headquarters was just four blocks from the WGN studios–to appear on his program to rebut Kurtz.

And not everyone was in Denver during Kurtz’ appearance, Ben LaBolt, a senior Obama spokesman, was in Chicago. And if LaBolt had stagefright that night, well, that doesn’t make a difference because by all accounts in 2008 there was telephone service in Denver.

Kurtz, who holds a Ph.D. in social anthropology, is hardly a “right-wing hatchet man” as the Obama apparatus claimed. Two months later there was another Obama call-to-arms when David Freddoso, the author of The Case Against Barack Obama, was a guest on Rosenberg’s show.

Rotting FishObama and his campaign never apologized for the Rosenberg-Kurtz anti-free speech abomination. Did Obama know about the attack? I wager that he did.

And if he didn’t? Well, a saying favored by 1988 Democratic presidential nominee comes to mind: “A fish rots from the head first.”

As president Obama the collectivist has governed by dividing and subdividing Americans into seemingly manageable groups: male, female, black, white, Hispanic, gay, straight, transgendered, religious, atheist, omnivores, vegetarians and many others. Obama presents himself as the only possible uniter of these groups. Of course he’s failed and the next president will have to repair Obama’s damage.

There’s a lot of finger-pointing going on in regards to the melee at Friday’s cancelled Trump rally.

One big finger– perhaps Trump-style it should be the middle one–deserves to be firmly pointed in the direction of our first collectivist president, whose campaign even went as far as forming on Orwellian “Truth Squad” in ’08. The following year the Obama White House requested Americans to inform on each other in regards to “fishy” claims about health care legislation.

What was that again about fish?

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit. He’ll be voting for Donald Trump in Tuesday’s Illinois Primary. 

Ford Field
Ford Field, site of the Quick Lane Bowl

By John Ruberry

One has to wonder if college football is headed to an every-participant-gets-a-ribbon level of competition. Not including the NCAA championship face-off, there will be a record 40 college bowl games this season, which means 63 percent of FBS programs will play in a bowl contest. And despite some of these teams fattening up against next-level-down teams in non-conference games, for instance Illinois clobbered Western Illinois 44-0, there aren’t enough teams with 6-6 records or better to fill all of these bowl slots.

Which means some 5-7 FBS teams–Illinois could be one of those squads–may still be graced with a bowl entry. At least two losers–and as many as five–will be bowl invitation winners. But another 5-7 Big 10 team, Nebraska, may have a leg up. The NCAA has a loser contingency plan–I’m sure they call it something more palatable–which rewards schools with the highest Academic Progress Rate. The Cornkuskers have the highest APR among the 5-7s.

Hey, studying finally counts for something in college sports! That’s an improvement. On the other hand, Nebraska’s fans are intensely loyal and even a Cornhusker team with a losing record makes them an attraction for a low-level bowl. Follow the money.

And what about the games themselves? Let’s take a look at Detroit’s Quick Lane Bowl, which will be played at Ford Field on December 28. It has tie-ins with the Big 10 and the Atlantic Coast Conference. But because there are not enough B1G or ACC bowl-eligible teams, Campus Insiders projects that another Big 10 loser, Minnesota. will face off against Central Michigan of the Mid American Conference. The Chippewas are 7-5–good for them.

NCAA football: Where you can be a winner and a loser at the same time.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

U of I student union, Urbana
U of I student union, Urbana

By John Ruberry

Once again my alma mater, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, is back in the national spotlight–and not for a good reason.

The state’s flagship university and its corrupt political apparatus are a worthy match for each other.

On Friday the head football coach of the Fighting Illini, the inept Tim Beckman, was fired one week before the team’s season opener after a preliminary outside report confirmed allegations that Beckman forced his student-athletes to play while hurt.

Here’s a unique twist–because Beckman, who was 12-25 in his three years at Illinois, was fired with cause, the athletic department won’t pay for the remaining two years of his contract.

It’s not just football.

This spring an assistant coach of the Illini women’s basketball team, Mike Divilbiss, resigned after charges became public that he and the head coach verbally harassed players and held segregated practices–one for whites and the other for blacks. Divibliss received a payout.

In June a former women’s soccer player for the Illini, Casey Conine, filed a suit claiming that she was cleared to play after suffering a third concussion.

illinois lawyersAt the center of the sports mess is Illinois’ athletic director, Mike Thomas, who hired Beckman in 2011. Thomas announced Beckman’s dismissal at a press conference where he described his department as “a wonderful place full of wonderful people.” Possibly the only reason Thomas still has a job is that the woman who hired him, university chancellor Phyllis Wise, was sort-of fired earlier this month–are you reading this, Hillary Clinton?–after she was caught using a private email service to discuss sensitive and embarrassing U of I matters. Wise’s payout bonus was denied–but she will be working in a different capacity at the university. The second-in-command at Illinois–Provost Ilesanmi Adesida–announced his resignation last week. Yes, he used a personal email service to conduct university business too.

Last year in this space I wrote about the rehiring as of a convicted murderer and a former Symbionese Liberation Army terrorist at Urbana-Champaign, James Kilgore, as an adjunct professor. The SLA controversy was one of the discussion points in those no longer private emails.

Four of the last nine elected Illinois governors have served time in federal prison. Clearly the state’s rotten political apparatus and its premier college deserve each other.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

By John Ruberry

Later today a committee will reveal the 68 teams that will participate NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Tournament, which is commonly known as the Big Dance or March Madness. All of the games will be televised–and during halftime, public-service ads about the participating teams will air–they will be milquetoast pieces–focusing how each school contributes to the community and if applicable, how many Nobel prizes the colleges have collected.

What will be left out of those PSAs is that there are many hard-core leftists on the faculty of every college participating in March Madness.

For instance…

Duke is in the tournament almost every year. miriam cooke (she does not capitalize her first or last name) is a professor of Arabic in the African & Asian Languages & Literature Department. She blames the first Gulf War and the establishment of Israel for the 9/11 attacks. cooke was one of the Group of 88 who signed a hateful letter that appeared in Duke’s student newspaper condemning the since-exonerated Duke lacrosse players who were accused of raping a black stripper.

The University of Kentucky is a favorite to win the tournament. Ihsan Bagby is a professor in the UK’s College of Arts and Sciences. He once wrote, “Ultimately we [Muslims] can never be full citizens of this country [the U.S.] because there is no way we can be fully committed to the institutions and ideologies of this country.”

Temple University is a tournament bubble team. While their Big Dance status is in doubt as of this writing–what is absolutely clear is that the Philadelphia university forces its students to take its two-year Intellectual Heritage course series that is heavy on Marxism but light on the damage caused by this failed philosophy. The professors who teach those classes certainly aren’t Ronald Reagan conservatives.

John "Lee" Ruberry
John “Lee” Ruberry

The teams not among the field of 68 can be invited to three other post-season tournaments. One of those is the NIT, my alma mater, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, is expected to be an NIT team. The U of I counts a convicted murderer and former Symbionese Liberation Army terrorist, James Kilgore, as one of its instructors.

You’ll find a lot of hot air and any many air balls in higher education. That is the real madness.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

By John Ruberry

Last week the NCAA agreed to restore the 111 victories it forced the Penn State Nittany Lions football team to vacate as part of its penalty for covering up the child sex abuse crimes of the team’s longtime defensive coordinator, Jerry Sandusky. Once again Penn State’s College Hall of Fame coach, Joe Paterno, is the NCAA’s all-time winningest head coach at 409 wins.

Paterno, who died in 2012 two months after Penn State fired him, knew of two of Sandusky’s sexual assaults: a 1998 incident that led to Sandusky’s surprising (at the time) retirement the next year and Sandusky’s 2001 rape of a ten year-old boy in the showers of the football team. By then Sandusky, who received a cushy retirement package that included full access to the Nittany Lion athletic facilities, was also given emeritus status at the school.

I watched Paterno’s last victory–although no one knew that it would be so at the time–on television against Illinois, a dull and sloppy home game in the snow that Penn State won, or I should say, didn’t lose, 10-7. That 409th win was one of many landmark victories for Paterno–he passed Grambling’s Eddie Robinson to become the all-time Division 1 leader in wins. But JoePa coached his team from the press box, protected by glass from the unseasonable cold.

A similar glass wall of protection shields Paterno to this day. The public became aware of the Sandusky scandal a few days after win 409 and Paterno, along with the school president, was fired the following week. But JoePa couldn’t be fired in person, supporters had surrounded his home and Paterno got canned by way of a telephone call. Students rioted in response to JoePa’s dismissal. The next summer Penn State was hit by brutal NCAA sanctions, including a ban on bowl games for four years, drastic scholarship cuts, a $60 million fine, and the removal of those 111 wins. Those victories dated back to 1998, when Paterno became aware of a Sandusky sexual assault.

Paterno’s able successor, Bill O’Brien, left Penn State after two seasons working under those draconian sanctions. He had decried the pressure of the “Paterno people” at the college, that glass wall. O’Brien committed the sin of not being JoePa.

In 2013 some of the pulled scholarships were restored by the NCAA and last year the team’s bowl-ban was removed.

John "Lee" Ruberry
John “Lee” Ruberry

Perversely, the Penn State hockey team chose to celebrate, yes celebrate, the restoration of the Paterno wins by donning “409” stickers on their helmets for its game against Michigan State Friday night.

Paterno’s glass wall is getting stronger–and I believe there is something wrong with that. Penn State–you have a problem.

There is some good news. Penn State lost that hockey game.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

U of I Student Union, Urbana
U of I Student Union, Urbana

By John Ruberry

The University of Illinois has three campuses, Chicago, Urbana-Champaign, and Springfield. The first one was the professional home of Bill Ayers for nearly two decades. Ayers, a longtime friend of the Obama family, was a member of the Weather Underground, one of the most violent of the radical groups of the 1960s and early 1970s.

Until a writer from the News-Gazette reported on his past with the mid-1970s terror group, the Symbionese liberation Army, former member James Kilgore, from 2009 until this spring, was an adjunct professor at the Urbana-Champaign campus–which is my alma mater.

So far no terrorists have been discovered teaching at the Springfield campus, but that is where former University of Colorado professor Ward Churchill received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees when the school was known at Sangamon State University. Churchill, whose invented Native American ancestry came to light when people looked into his background after he referred to the office worker victims of the World Trade Center attack as “Little Eichmanns,” says he built bombs for Ayers’ group.

Ayers retired and Churchill was fired for plagiarism. But Kilgore will be back teaching at the U of I this spring.

The Symbionese Liberation Army is best known for the 1974 kidnapping of media heiress Patty Hearst. Kilgore was a latecomer to the group, which was anything but an army–it never had more than ten terrorists among its roster. Kilgore took part in an SLA bank robbery in 1975 in which a woman making a deposit for her church was murdered. The “army” went AWOL later that year and Kilgore went on the lam, ending up in Zimbabwe and then South Africa. Using a phony name, Kilgore earned a Ph.D in Africa and married a professor, Teresa Barnes. But Kilgore’s life on the lam ended after the 2002 arrest of another longtime SLA fugitive, Kathleen Ann Soliah, who was his girlfriend when they were members. Soliah, who later changed her name to Sara Jane Olson, had briefly lived in Zimbabwe as well. Federal investigators quickly connected the dots and found Kilgore.

The following year Kilgore pleaded guilty to charges of passport fraud, explosives violations, and second degree murder. He served five years in prison, then joined his wife in Urbana, where she was now a University of Illinois professor. It’s unclear how much the school knew of Kilgore’s past, but no criminal background check was performed when he was hired and there was a glaring five-year gap in his resume–Kilgore’s time in prison–that would have given pause to any private-sector human resources manager, as would have his South African university work performed under a different name.

John "Lee" Ruberry
John “Lee” Ruberry

But left-wing academics–an oxymoron, I know, rallied to get Kilgore back in the classroom. Last week they succeeded in their goal.

The Kilgore story is only the latest proof that the “higher education” is out of step with the American mainstream and the taxpayers such as myself who support public universities.

But there is an upside to this narrative. Next month the temporary Illinois income tax hike expires, which means less money for state colleges. And Kilgore’s return to the classroom could cost the University of Illinois an already-pledged $4.2 million donation from a businessman who now says the college has “clearly lost its moral compass.”

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

Gov. Pat Quinn,  (D) Illinois
Gov. Pat Quinn,
(D) Illinois

By John Ruberry

Governor Pat Quinn, a Chicago Democrat, has been mostly on the fringes of Illinois politics since the early 1970s. For most of that time he was a minor-league version of Ralph Nader, part consumer advocate, part self-appointed government reformer. Although Nader never held public office, Quinn was state treasurer for a term in the 1990s, and of course twice he was Rod Blagojevich’s running mate. Quinn succeeded Blago after the hair-brained pol was removed from office five years ago by the state Senate.

Last week was arguably Quinn’s worst as governor. An autumn 2010 anti-violence program, the Neighborhood Recovery Initiative, was unveiled by Quinn as he faced a tough battle to win a full term as governor, is now being investigated by federal authorities and the Cook County State’s Attorney Office. The $54.5 million program has been exposed by the local media as a massive political slush fund to drive up the African American vote in Chicago and its inner suburbs so Quinn could win his election, which he did, barely. The Chicago Sun-Times revealed that the felon husband of Dorothy Brown, another Chicago Democrat, was paid nearly $150,000 in salary and benefits to oversee $2.1 million in NRI grants.

Quinn faces another scandal. A long time patronage-hiring foe, Michael Shakman, asked the federal government in a court motion to investigate hiring decisions at the Illinois Department of Transportation. He claims that Quinn is loading up IDOT with political hires.

Durbin said Quinn was a  ghost payroller
Durbin said Quinn was a ghost payroller

Speaking of political hires, Quinn was the patronage chief of early-1970s governor Dan Walker, who later went to prison for looting a savings and loan. And an authority no less than Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) accused Quinn of being a ghost-payroller under Walker.

Quinn’s former chief-of-staff, Jack Lavin, was once chief financial officer for Tony Rezko, one of Rod Blagojevich’s enablers who is best known in Illinois for being Barack Obama’s first political sponsor. Rezko is serving a prison sentence now.

Lavin also served under Blago.

Pat Quinn is as much of a reformer as I am an astronaut.

Disclosures: I knew Lavin quite well years ago while we were classmates at the University of Illinois. And the husband of Anita Alvarez, the Cook County State’s Attorney, is a friend of mine.

John Ruberry blogs regularly at Marathon Pundit.

…you come for all of us faculty at the University of Illinois:

In a proposed resolution, highly-regarded professor Elliott Kaufman suggested that the Faculty Senate ask the board to reconsider its decision, one he said was a conflict-of-interest and “inappropriately influenced by personal and political comments.”

He urged board members to “adhere to the ethical constraints that normally govern their meetings.”

“Isn’t this the new, squeaky-clean, highly-ethical board of trustees? What happened? It is worth airing the laundry here,” said Kaufman, who retired last year after serving in numerous faculty leadership positions, in an interview with the Tribune.

“The chair had a conflict of interest and he put the other trustees in an impossible position,” Kaufman said. “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.”

Jim Hoff cuts to the chase:

So, let’s see. A guy that has a history of despising the United States and committing armed insurrection against her, a guy that advocated for the violent deaths of any number of her citizens, a guy who, with his wife, actually participated in at least one bombing where a police officer was killed, a guy that has never expressed any remorse for his actions, and a guy that has never paid a price for his treasonous and murderous actions is just the sort of guy that the faculty of a prestigious university would go to the mat for? Is that what we have here?

Yep, it appears that terrorist William Ayers is just the kind of creep that university professors love.

Because nothing says “Emeritus status” more to University of Illinois professors than dedicating your book to the murderer of Robert Kennedy.

All I can think of is the Lion King: “You like him, he likes you, but he likes the Murderer of RFK…and everyone is OK with this?”

There is some news from Illinois via the American Papist on the Illinois firing scandal. Take a peek at the form letter they are sending out:

I learned of this action on the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) campus late last week and immediately asked Chancellor Robert Easter, who oversees the campus, to provide me with a briefing on the matter. I want to assure you that the University administration shares my commitment to the principles of academic freedom. At the same time, we do believe it’s important to fully investigate all of the details related to this situation. As I’m sure you’re aware, it is sometimes the case that public reports may convey only part of the story. I think it important to reserve judgment until I have all of the facts and I hope you’ll agree.

We have asked the UIUC Senate’s standing Committee on Academic Freedom and Tenure to immediately review this action. This is the mechanism on the campus through which these matters should be vetted. We expect this review to be completed very soon. By using our channels of shared governance and review, we are in the best position to make informed decisions that afford a fair process for all.

If you don’t think these guys are worried, you’re right:

Chancellor Robert Easter has asked the University of Illinois’ Senate Committee on Academic Freedom and Tenure to determine whether the university violated the academic freedom and right to free speech of adjunct professor Dr. Kenneth Howell.

Howell, who has taught in the university’s Department of Religion since 2001, was recently fired for explaining in a class on Catholicism that the Church believes that homosexual behavior violates natural moral law.

University President Michael Hogan addressed faculty senators on Monday, after receiving 100 e-mails about Howell’s case, reported The News-Gazette.

“We want to be able to reassure ourselves there was no infringement on academic freedom here,” Hogan said. “This is a very, very important, not to mention a touchy and sensitive, issue. Did this cross the line somehow?”

Why are they worried? Because they are being noticed.