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Cornel West cancels speech at U of Illinois over Salaita

URBANA — A prominent civil rights activist and academic has canceled a speech at the University of Illinois because of the school’s decision to rescind a job offer to a Native American studies professor.

Cornel West said Wednesday that he will not speak at the Urbana-Champaign campus because of the dispute between the university and Steven Salaita. West was scheduled to deliver a lecture in April.

He called the university’s decision to rescind the job offer “a moral scandal.”

A university spokeswoman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Salaita was offered a job starting in August 2014. The university withdrew the job offer over a series of sometimes profane, anti-Israel Twitter messages.

Salaita has sued in an effort to force the university to give him the job.