Thursday, November 13, 2014

University Of Illinois Trustees Pave The Way For Rehiring Of Convicted Domestic Terrorist James Kilgore

James Kilgore
James Kilgore (Brian Cassella/Chicago Tribune photo)
It was unlike the University of Illinois Board of Trustees to interfere in university administrators' decision to hire another reputed terrorist for a teaching position at one of its campuses since it previously allowed Weather Underground terrorist Bill Ayers to become a tenured professor at its Chicago campus despite his admitted role in bombing various government installations as a form of protest against the Vietnam War. According to the Chicago Tribune, the trustees have reversed an earlier decision not to renew James Kilgore's teaching contract at the university after the Champaign News-Gazette publicly disclosed the fact that he had a felony conviction for his role in a 1975 California armed bank robbery which left one woman dead. Kilgore's crimes occurred while he was a terrorist member of the Symbionese Liberation Army.

Kilgore fled the country following the deadly bank robbery and assumed a new identity in Australia before later traveling to South Africa. Kilgore was arrested in South Africa in 2002 and extradited to the United States where he spent five years in prison for second degree murder and possession of an explosive device. Kilgore wound up in Champaign following his release from prison after his wife, Teresa Barnes, whom he met during his time in South Africa, landed a teaching job at the university. Kilgore neglected to mention his felony convictions or the fact that he had been a fugitive of the law living abroad under an alias for more than 25 years, although all but one university administrator claimed they were aware of his past at the time of his hring. His resume contained gaps in his employment while he was teaching English in South Africa when he described himself as a self-employed writer.

Christoper Kennedy, son of the late Sen. Robert Kennedy, chairs the board of trustees and earlier referred to Kilgore as a "domestic terrorist" in expressing his disapproval upon learning of his hiring by the university. Kennedy played a key role in blocking Bill Ayers from obtaining professsor emeritus status at the university in 2010, but he had a change of heart on Kilgore's status. A university committee appointed to look into Kilgore's hiring concluded he had been "a successful employee" and had "contributed to the scholarly and educational missions of the campus." Kilgore had been teaching global studies at the university before his contract was not renewed last summer due to the controversy.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

And what of Purdue and it's pay to play Board of Trustees that like war and defense contracts...and Mitch....