Termination: 2/22/03 - 2/28/03
The United Faculty of Florida had long said that the accusations
of (facilitating) terrorism, made against Al-Arian, were criminal
charges, and that they were not a matter for the Board of Trustees.
If the Federal Government took up the case, that was another matter:
the union does not deal with criminal law.
In fact, Roy Weatherford was on record saying that if the Federal
Government proved terrorism charges against Al-Arian, they could
shoot Al-Arian as far as he cared.
But the union does deal with labor law, and the union's
dispute was with the Board.
But then, the Federal Government stepped in, and it looked like the
entire matter would be taken out of the Board's hands.
But the Board could not bear to wait and see.
So while the various combatants postured, pontificated, and debated,
the Genshaft announced that at long last it would indeed fire
Al-Arian -- and by relying so heavily on the indictment that she
was, in effect, betting the farm on the outcome of a trial whose
arraignment hadn't occured yet.
The story wound up in the news briefs sections of most newspapers,
and even locally was relegated to aftershock status.
For the union itself, the most interesting development was Al-Arian's
decision to grieve the dismissal ... under the new rules that
the union claimed were illegal.
Meanwhile, Al-Arian was protesting the entire situation by going on
a hunger strike.
Reverberations: 3/01/03 - 3/19/03
The indictment and dismissal of Professor Al-Arian was immediated
seized as a vindication by many of his accusers, so much so that
Tampa Tribune staff were miffed by O'Reilly's attempt to hog the
The situation had become so emotional that many observers could
discern only two sides to the conflict: pro-Al-Arian versus
anti-Al-Arian; any more subtle position (like ``we believe that
the USF Board of Trustees should presume Al-Arian innocent until
proven guilty') was lost in the verbal fire.
Most of the punditry consisted of I-told-you-so's from Al-Arian's
opponents, and one recipient of these declarations was UFF.
Nevertheless, interesting developments came to light.
Al-Arian's political activities, particularly his support for the
GOP (and vice versa) became a topic of much hand-wringing, while
the precise nature of his official mosque and academy duties
became the subject of background reports.
Meanwhile, Al-Arian started a modified hunger strike: he drank
only some breakfast drinks, a compromise between a protest against
his arrest, and his diabetes.
A Greater Circle: 3/20/03 - 3/28/03
The full dimensions of Al-Arian's legal situation began to sink in.
The amount of evidence is huge, and the case is extremely complex,
and the central charges rest not so much on one or two overt acts,
but instead of the pattern of some forty acts taken together.
Al-Arian's family started to speak of the financial burden of
mounting a defense --- a million dollars? more? --- while his
lawyer started expressing the timeline in terms of years.
It is not surprising that his attorneys put his contractual dispute
with the Board of Trustees on a back burner, but perhaps it was
surprising that in doing so, Al-Arian's position on the contract
itself became aligned with that of the Board of Trustees, against
When Al-Arian's attorney told the Oracle that UFF was ``out of the
loop,'' maintaining this site became problematic.
Continually updating this site requires a union member to devote
hours each week, and broadcasting the latest news in Biweekly
newspapers suggested a level of involvement that UFF no longer
Facing a hostile Board of Trustees, defending the contract UFF
itself negotiated is a higher priority that defending the rights
of a faculty member whose attorney announces that he is dispensing
with UFF's help.
And so the Chapter decided that effective March 29, when the
deadline for Al-Arian to file a contractual grievance on his
dismissal runs out, this site will no longer be comprehensively
Major developments will be noted, and all the old pages kept on-line,
but as Al-Arian moves into his greater circle, UFF's first
obligation is to the circle that Al-Arian, mostly involuntarily,
The bail hearing begins.
The chapter decides to petition for voluntary recognition.
The future of this site is at issue.
Al-Arian has many character witnesses testify for him.
Announcing the Chapter's decision.
Genshaft and Weatherford announce the Chapter's decision.
Back to Al-Arian.
His bail and arraignment are running in parallel; he pleads
Not Guilty, and decision on bail is reserved.
The (provisional) decision on the site: pages will be maintained
on-line, but subsequent news will no longer be comprehensively
Instead, only major developments will be noted.
Recent News are listed on the Current Events page.
As of Mar. 29, news coverage is no longer comprehensive, but just
covers major developments.