Statement on ASA Boycott
Occidental College President Jonathan Veitch released this statement on the ASA boycott of Israeli academic institutions today.
Last month, the American Studies Association (ASA) voted in favor of a boycott of Israeli academic institutions. As president of Occidental College, I oppose this move. Occidental College will not participate in this or any other action that violates the fundamental principles of academic freedom. Members of the Occidental community must have the unfettered ability to engage freely with their counterparts anywhere if we are, in keeping with Occidental’s mission, to prepare our students for leadership in an increasingly complex, interdependent and pluralistic world. Debates on complex political and human rights issues require the active engagement of all parties. A boycott makes that impossible.
I stand with the American Association of University Professors, the American Council on Education, the Association of American Universities, and the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities in condemning the ASA’s resolution. Legitimate efforts to address important political issues should not themselves infringe upon academic freedom.