Lawrence President, Provost Issue Statement Opposing Academic Boycotts

Posted on: January 7th, 2014 by Rick Peterson

In response to calls by several academic associations for a boycott of Israeli academic institutions because of that country’s occupation of Palestinian territories and restrictions on Palestinian students and scholars, Lawrence University President Mark Burstein and Provost and Dean of the Faculty David Burrows have jointly issued the following statement.

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“A central principle of a liberal arts education is the ability to discuss differing opinions in an environment that supports the exchange of ideas and the learning that comes from that exchange.  At Lawrence we have supported this value of discourse since our founding 167 years ago.

“The longer we live and work within an academic community, the more deeply we are convinced that our most precious possession is the freedom to speak what we think, and to listen thoughtfully to one another.  Whatever our political commitments, whatever the nature of any government’s policies, no boycott should interfere with this freedom of academic discourse either here or at universities elsewhere in the world.  So we have joined the officers of other American universities, the American Association of University Professors, the Executive Committee of the Association of American Universities, and the President of the American Council on Education—all of whom oppose the call by the Association of American Studies to boycott Israeli academic institutions.”

Mark Burstein, President
Dave Burrows, Provost and Dean of the Faculty

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the Fiske Guide to Colleges 2014 and the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Individualized learning, the development of multiple interests and community engagement are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.

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