Indiana University is withdrawing its membership in the American Studies Association in opposition to the organization’s proposed boycott of Israeli institutions of higher education.
IU President Michael McRobbie issued a statement Monday saying:
“Boycotts such as these have a profound chilling effect on academic freedom, and universities must be clear and unequivocal in rejecting them. Indiana University values its academic relationships with colleagues and institutions around the world, including many important ones with institutions in Israel, and will not allow political considerations such as those behind this ill-conceived boycott to weaken those relationships or undermine the principle of academic freedom in this way. IU stands firmly against proposals that would attempt to limit or restrict those important institutional relationships or this fundamental principle.”
The American Studies Association, a group of scholars and academic institutions devoted to interdisciplinary American studies, released a statement Dec. 16 saying the group’s members voted to boycott Israel’s higher education institutions.
McRobbie’s statement lends support to the Association of American Universities and the American Association of University Professors, who have also come out in opposition to the boycott.
IU joins Kenyon College, Penn State Harrisburg and Brandeis University in cutting ties with the American Studies Association.
Other universities, including Harvard, Yale, Brown and Princeton, have also come out against the boycott, but have not withdrawn their ASA memberships.