Following is a statement by Northwestern University President Morton Schapiro and Provost Dan Linzer on the proposed boycott of Israeli academic institutions announced by several U.S. associations.
Recently the membership of the American Studies Association approved a resolution calling for a boycott of Israeli higher education institutions. Two other U.S. academic associations have also advocated that stance. While we support the right of academicians to voice their viewpoints, Northwestern University disagrees strongly with the boycott vote of the ASA. Northwestern also rejects the actions suggested in the resolution. In fact, we believe the ASA resolution directly contradicts the values of academic freedom and advancing scholarship for which Northwestern stands.
Northwestern University faculty and students should have the ability to pursue academic collaborations with their colleagues at institutions around the world, including Israel. Northwestern for years has had highly successful and valued joint degree programs and extensive partnerships with Israeli institutions and scholars. We intend to maintain and strengthen relationships such as these.
Furthermore, the Executive Committee of the Association of American Universities, the organization of the most prominent research universities in North America and of which Northwestern is a member, has opposed the position of the three academic organizations. We concur with the statement of the AAU's Executive Committee, which is available at http://www.aau.edu/WorkArea/DownloadAsset.aspx?id=14859