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Sami Al-Arian collection

Identifier: MS-2001-01

  • Staff Only

Scope and Contents

The focus of this collection is primarily on the relationship between the University of South Florida and Sami Amin Al-Arian, from his hiring by the University in 1986 to the termination of his employment on February 26, 2003. The collection also documents the progress and resolution of the Al-Arian case subsequent to his dismissal by the university. It is comprised of copies of materials located through the internet, news clippings, documents obtained from USF administration, the United Faculty of Florida and other USF-affiliated agencies, printed ephemera and a small number of artifacts (buttons supporting Al-Arian or President Genshaft, bumper stickers, etc.).


  • Created: 1986-2007
  • Other: Date acquired: 00/00/2001


Conditions Governing Access

None. The contents of the collection may be subject to copyright. Visit the United States Copyright Office's website at for further information.


13.50 Linear Feet

30 boxes

Language of Materials


Arrangement Note

This collection is organized into five document groups:

1. General: materials generated by various individuals and organizations, excluding the press, courts, and USF-related sources.

2. Courts: select records generated by various court proceedings relating to the Al-Arian case.  (At the time of writing, most of the records of the 2005 Al-Arian trial are accessible online through the U.S. District Court, Middle District of Florida’s website.)

3. Press: media and website commentaries on the case, including articles collected by USF Media Relations and others identified by the Special Collections department staff.  (Articles from USF-related publications such as the Oracle [campus newspaper] are located in the USF document group.)

4. USF: materials generated by USF-affiliated individuals and organizations, including USF administration, the USF chapter of the United Faculty of Florida, the Faculty Senate, student organizations, etc.

5. PRIMER petition: Internet petition sent to USF President Judy Genshaft advocating the dismissal of Dr. Al-Arian, sponsored by Promoting Responsibility in Middle East Reporting (PRIMER).

Within document groups 1, 2, and 4, files are arranged alphabetically by individual, organization, or publication name, then chronologically. In document group 3, articles are arranged chronologically, with separate sections for select local publications that are not available electronically.

Source of Acquisition

University of South Florida.

Method of Acquisition

The Special Collections Department staff began collecting material documenting the Al-Arian controversy in October 2001. Materials came from the Office of the President, the USF Police Department, and other Tampa campus offices and organizations. Five boxes of material, primarily newspaper articles, were provided by USF's Media Resources office. The complete print-out of the PRIMER petition to President Genshaft advocating dismissal of Dr. Al-Arian was deposited in Special Collections by the Office of the President. Two files documenting the 1995-1996 WISE-Shallah controversy were copied from the papers of USF president Betty Castor in the USF Archives.

Related Publications

Al-Arian, Sami Amin. 2004. Conspiring Against Joseph: Reflections of a Prisoner of Conscience in a Federal Penitentiary. National Liberty Fund.

Erlinder, C. Peter. 2004. Shackled Dreams: A Palestinian's Struggle for Truth, Justice, and the American Way. The Story of Sami A. Al-Arian. National Liberty Fund.

McColm, Greg and Dom, Sherman. Fall 2005. "A University's Dilemma in the Age of National Security." Thought and Action: The NEA Higher Education Journal. Pp. 163-177.

Smith, Jr., William Reece. 1996. Report to President Betty Castor, University of South Florida: in re USF / WISE Relationship and Related Matters.

Sami Al-Arian Collection
PEC, 2007; revised 2009
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the USF Libraries - Special Collections Repository

4202 East Fowler Ave.
Tampa FL 33620-5400 US