FIU opposes boycott of Israeli academic institutions

On Thursday, Dec. 26, 2013, President Mark B. Rosenberg and Provost and Executive Vice President Douglas Wartzok delivered this message to the FIU community:

Last week the American Studies Association (ASA) approved a resolution calling for a boycott of Israeli academic institutions. FIU opposes this resolution.

Our Board of Trustees has adopted the following statement with respect to academic freedom:

“Florida International University is dedicated to the transmission and advancement of knowledge and understanding. Academic freedom is essential to the achievement of these purposes. The University therefore supports and encourages freedom of inquiry for faculty members and students, to the end that they may responsibly pursue these goals through teaching, learning, research, discussion and publication, free from internal or external restraints that would unreasonably restrict their academic endeavors.”

The resolution of the ASA would impose restrictions on the academic freedom of Israeli scholars and of scholars from FIU and elsewhere who interact with them. Such restrictions are antithetical to the freedom of inquiry identified by our Board as essential to an engaged university seeking solutions to global problems.

Scholars have a wide range of views on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.  We support research and scholarly dialogue among all scholars including full participation of Palestinian as well as Israeli academics. Academic freedom is a touchstone of the modern university and critical to the research, teaching and engagement of our faculty. Progress toward solving difficult issues such as this one will be achieved only when the academic freedom of all scholars is preserved and enhanced.