Statement by President Kathleen Waldron on British University and College Union Boycott
New York, NY - August 13, 2007 - As President of Baruch College, I believe in academic integrity and the active exchange of ideas. Some of you may have seen a full-page advertisement on Wednesday, August 8, in the first section of the New York Times. Under the title, "Boycott Israeli Universities? Boycott Ours, Too!," the ad criticized British academics in the 120,000-member University and College Union for a proposal that would cut off relations with Israeli academic institutions because of concerns about Israel 's treatment of Palestinians. In the ad, Columbia University President Lee Bollinger suggested that if the British Union persists in an academic boycott of Israeli schools then it should boycott Columbia and other supportive U.S. institutions also.
I want to assure you that I proudly add my name to the campaign for a free exchange of ideas as expressed in the advertisement. The proposed boycott of Israeli schools is deeply misguided and shows disregard for the kind of academic integrity valued at Baruch College. Although governments may disagree at times, we should not impair the free flow of ideas.