The recent votes of two scholarly societies — the American Studies Association and Association for Asian American Studies — to endorse the Palestinian boycott of Israeli academic institutions is contrary to both academic freedom and the international exchange of ideas. The University of Connecticut joins the American Association of University Professors in firmly opposing all such boycotts. Choosing one nation for a boycott is patently unfair and represents a disturbing philosophy among some segments of the academy.
As a university with global reach and prominence, UConn seeks research and educational partnerships with people of all nations, and is proud to serve as a force for political conversation, inter-ethnic exchange, and the pursuit of scholarly excellence.
Academic leaders at UConn will continue to visit Israel and Arab nations, invite Israeli and Arab scholars to our campuses, encourage our students and faculty to study in these nations, and pursue research collaboration with the many outstanding Israeli universities. We do this with pride and a productive focus on social justice, to forge the very critical dialogues that will someday lead to the peace we all seek.
That is the true essence of a university — to foster dialogue and develop solutions to problems without regard to political, racial, and cultural differences.
Susan Herbst, President
University of Connecticut