ERROR ALERT: The NRO post cited below is wrong as regards Duke President Richard Brodhead's position on the proposed boycott. Brodhead opposses the boycott. See this JinC post for his statement made on July 27.
I apologize to President Brodhead and to any of you who were misled by the post below.
In the August 9 Chronicle of Higher Education we read:
More than 300 presidents of American colleges and universities have signed a statement assailing a proposal by Britain’s leading faculty union to consider a boycott of Israeli academic institutions.Those signing the statement include the presidents of Cornell, Dartmouth, M.I.T., Penn and Princeton as well as U. N. C. – Chapel Hill Chancellor James Moeser.
The statement ( full text below – JinC), which was written by Columbia University’s president, Lee C. Bollinger and ran as an advertisment in Wednesday’s New York Times, follows widespread criticism since the University and College Union passed a resolution ($ req.) in May calling for the group to debate whether to refuse to work with Israeli academics over the country’s Palestinian policies.
Last week a group called Scholars for Peace in the Middle East said it had gathered 10,000 signatures on an online petition opposing the faculty union’s proposal.
Harvard President Drew Gilpin condemned the boycott proposal in a separate statement.
And what about Duke’s President, Richard ( “The facts kept changing.”) Brodhead?
This today from NRO [excerpt]:
Brodhead's refusal to sign is curious given how outspoken he was on public issues surrounding the Duke lacrosse case and, before that, how staunch his defense was of Duke's willingness to host the 2004 national convention of the Palestinian Solidarity Movement, whose members had endorsed suicide bombing.I recall at the time of the PSM convention Brodhead saying how important it was that Duke host it as a demonstration of the University’s commitment to the free expression of ideas.
I regularly check Duke News. If I see anything regarding Brodhead and the boycott effort, I’ll post on it. If you see something first, please comment on the thread of a recent post.
Now here’s President Bollinger’s statement:
As a citizen, I am profoundly disturbed by the recent vote by Britain’s new University and College Union to advance a boycott against Israeli academic institutions.
As a university professor and president, I find this idea utterly antithetical to the fundamental values of the academy, where we will not hold intellectual exchange hostage to the political disagreements of the moment. In seeking to quarantine Israeli universities and scholars this vote threatens every university committed to fostering scholarly and cultural exchanges that lead to enlightenment, empathy, and a much-needed international marketplace of ideas.
At Columbia I am proud to say that we embrace Israeli scholars and universities that the UCU is now all too eager to isolate -- as we embrace scholars from many countries regardless of divergent views on their governments' policies.
Therefore, if the British UCU is intent on pursuing its deeply misguided policy, then it should add Columbia to its boycott list, for we do not intend to draw distinctions between our mission and that of the universities you are seeking to punish.
Boycott us, then, for we gladly stand together with our many colleagues in British, American and Israeli universities against such intellectually shoddy and politically biased attempts to hijack the central mission of higher education.
Hat Tip: Mike Williams