Statement on British University and College Union boycott

The recent attempt by some in Britain's University and College Union (UCU) to advance a boycott against Israeli academics and academic institutions represents an assault on the values that universities everywhere ought to promote: academic freedom, open exchange of ideas, and free and unfettered debate. By seeking to hold Israeli academics responsible for government policies with which some of its members disagree, the UCU is setting an extraordinarily dangerous precedent for universities and the societies they serve.

For more than 140 years, Cornell University has remained true to the ideal expressed by its founder, Ezra Cornell: "I would found an institution where any person can find instruction in any study," by welcoming to our campus students and scholars from throughout the world.

Cornell will continue to participate in academic exchanges with Israeli universities and welcome Israeli students and scholars to our campuses, as we do with students and scholars from throughout the Middle East and the world.

Cornell urges the UCU to defeat the proposed boycott, and stands with our Israeli colleagues in the face of this misguided attempt to stifle academic exchange.

President David J. Skorton