CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article misstated the stance of the UNC American studies department on the American Studies Association’s recommended boycott of Israel. The department affirmed the right of faculty and students to their own political and ethical decisions, but declined to take a stance on the boycott. The Daily Tar Heel apologizes for the error.
UNC’s Department of American Studies voted last week to affirm the right of students and faculty to academic freedom, following the American Studies Association’s recommendation that scholars boycott Israeli higher education institutions.
Chancellor Carol Folt and Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Jim Dean released a joint statement in December rejecting the national organization’s resolution. The letter said they support academic freedom and international collaboration.
American studies rejects Israel boycott
The boycott of Israeli higher education institutions has been met with controversy on campus:
- Dec. 16: The American Studies Association votes to boycott Israeli higher education institutions.
- Dec. 20: The Association of American Universities releases a statement condemning the boycott. The statement says the boycott violates academic freedom.
- Dec. 31: Chancellor Carol Folt and Executive Vice Chancellor Jim Dean release a statement announcing UNC’s rejection of the boycott.
- Jan. 8: UNC’s American studies department votes to support Folt and Dean’s position on the boycott.
The American studies department’s meeting to discuss the boycott was limited to faculty of the department, but chairman Bernie Herman said there will be a forum in the future that will involve students as well as the community as a whole.
Herman said 12 out of the full 15 faculty members attended the discussion, while the rest expressed their views by other means.