Statement by President Wiewel condemning the American Studies Association's call for a boycott of Israeli academic institutions:
As the president of Portland State University, I join with many colleagues (as I already did through the Association of Public and Land Grant Universities) in condemning the call of the American Studies Association for a boycott of Israeli academic institutions. As academics, we are committed to the free and open exchange of ideas and knowledge. Thus, in principle, organizational attempts to stifle such exchange are antithetical to our beliefs.
Even if a nation's politics or policies were abhorrent, it would be extremely rare for an academic boycott to be appropriate or useful. In the case of Israel, while reasonable people can certainly debate the merits of any number of specific policies and programs, the totality of the practices and beliefs of the country does not even come close to meriting a boycott. Indeed, the ASA action has encouraged me to strengthen my pursuit of academic exchanges between Portland State University and Israeli institutions.
January 14, 2014
List of institutions whose presidents or chancellors have publicly rejected the academic boycott of Israel in recent days: http://bit.ly/19GS5xM