College of Charleston President P. George Benson has issued the following statement on proposed boycotts of Israeli academic institutions.
“Earlier this month, the American Studies Association announced its support for an `academic boycott’ of Israeli universities. This boycott is inspired by criticisms of various policies adopted by the State of Israel.
“Individual faculty, staff, and students have different points of view on controversial political topics, and there are many venues for the expression of opinions relevant to those topics. However, academic boycotts are inherently troubling, as they seek to prevent contacts between universities and threaten the free flow of ideas and information between faculty and students. Such boycotts pose a direct threat to academic freedom.
“I join the American Association of University Professors, the Association of American Universities, and many of my fellow university presidents in opposing academic boycotts. Further, I urge the members of the American Studies Association to end their society’s participation in the academic boycott of Israeli academic institutions.”