TC Media Center from the Office of External Affairs

Section Navigation

President Fuhrman Responds to Proposed Boycott of Israeli Academic Institutions

As the president of an academic institution dedicated in large part to the preparation of teachers, I believe that universities and all centers of learning must be allowed to function as safe havens for freedom of discussion, debate and intellectual inquiry, standing apart from national and international politics and partisan strife. Only thus can they continue to produce scholarship that informs the policies and laws of democratic societies and stand as islands of hope in a frequently polarized world. The recent vote by the new University and College Union of Britain to advance a boycott against Israeli academic institutions is misguided and destructive as it would effectively silence rather than promulgate open debate about the very issues around which it seeks to create dialogue.  It would not only damage a vitally important channel for reasoned debate in Israel, but also set a precedent that could poison academic environments and shut down academic exchanges everywhere.

Teachers College welcomes dialogue with Israeli scholars and universities and stands with Columbia University President Lee Bollinger in expressing solidarity with them by inviting UCU to boycott us, as well.

previous page