NYU AAUP Responds to Access to Palestinian West Bank Universities and Attempts to Limit Academic Freedom

NYSC NYU AAUP Chapter | 17 janvier 2014 |

The NYSC NYU AAUP Chapter has released the satement below regarding Academic Freedom in Israel and domestic responses to the situation. In particular a Proposed Boycott by the Modern Language Associatioin (MLA) has triggered proposed NYS Assembly Legislation in Response to the American Studies Association Boycott of Israel as well as a Policy decsion by NYU President Sexton that would severely limit academic freedom at home and abroad.

NYU AAUP Statement on Proposed Legislation (A.8392) in NYS Assembly

The members of the AAUP chapter at NYU hold a variety of views about the efficacy of academic boycotts. In recognition of that range of opinion, we do not support President Sexton’s condemnation of the American Studies Association’s resolution to boycott Israeli universities. Faculty have a right to express their own opinions, in whatever form, about the suppression of freedoms among academics overseas, and a boycott of institutions is a legitimate exercise of that right. University presidents who unilaterally issue statements that do not reflect the diversity of opinion among their faculty are overstepping their office.

However, we do agree with the NYU administration’s response to the proposed legislation in the New York State Assembly. The bill (A.8392) is a clear and present threat to basic academic freedoms, not in the Middle East but here in New York State. Elected officials are seeking to use their fiscal powers to limit the range of academic expression simply because they disagree with its content. Passing this legislation would set a very dangerous precedent, reminiscent, for many of us, of the loyalty oaths of the McCarthy era.

Andrew Ross, president, NYU-AAUP

Molly Nolan, vice-president, NYU-AAUP

Marie Monaco, secretary, NYU-AAUP

Anna McCarthy, treasurer, NYU-AAUP

Rebecca Karl, at-large executive member, NYU-AAUP