January 10, 2014

Statement from UW President Michael K. Young on the proposed boycott of Israeli universities

By Office of the President

As provost and president of the University of Washington, Ana Mari Cauce and I fully endorse the statement from the Association of American UnIversities (AAU), the 62 leading public and private universities in North America and of which the University of Washington is a member, opposing a proposed boycott by American higher education institutions of universities and their faculties in Israel. We believe such a boycott of academic institutions and their faculties has no place in higher education institutions founded on the premise of the free exchange of ideas. The AAU statement, issued by its executive committee Dec. 20, 2013, affirms that:

Any such boycott of academic institutions directly violates academic freedom, which is a fundamental principle of AAU universities and of American higher education in general. Academic freedom is the freedom of university faculty responsibly to produce and disseminate knowledge through research, teaching, and service, without undue constraint. It is a principle that should not be abridged by political considerations. American colleges and universities, as well as like institutions elsewhere, must stand as the first line of defense against attacks on academic freedom.

We are proud to align with the position enunciated by the AAU to oppose in any way any
constriction of the free flow and exchange of ideas among the world’s scholars, teachers,
scientists and intellectuals.

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