Northwestern to continue relationships with Israeli universities despite recent boycott calls

Ally Mutnick, Campus Editor

University President Morton Schapiro and Provost Dan Linzer announced Friday that Northwestern would maintain its programs and partnerships with Israeli universities despite a recent resolution from the American Studies Association calling for a boycott of academic institutions in the country.

The association, which promotes learning of American history and culture, announced its resolution Dec. 4, citing human rights abuses by Israel and the negative effects of the Israeli occupation on Palestinian academics. They are the third U.S. academic association to call for a boycott.

In a statement to the NU community, Schapiro and Linzer touted the University’s successful relationships with Israeli academic institutions and said the partnerships would continue.

“We believe the ASA resolution directly contradicts the values of academic freedom and advancing scholarship for which Northwestern stands,” Schapiro and Linzer wrote in the statement. “Northwestern University faculty and students should have the ability to pursue academic collaborations with their colleagues at institutions around the world, including Israel.”

NU is not the only school to take issue with the boycott. The American Studies Program at Brandeis University withdrew its affiliation with the association following the resolution, according to the program’s website. Lawrence Summers, a former president of Harvard University and U.S. Treasury Secretary, also criticized the boycott on the interview show “Charlie Rose.”

The Association of American Universities, of which NU is a member, released a statement Friday opposing the boycott. Schapiro and Linzer said NU agrees with the statement, which was signed by 10 university presidents and chancellors including Schapiro.

— Ally Mutnick