UC Berkeley Web Feature
Statement from UC Berkeley Chancellor Robert J. Birgeneau in response to British faculty union's proposed action against Israeli universities
BERKELEY – As chancellor of the University of California, Berkeley, I share the growing outrage over the efforts by some members of Britain's University and College Union to promulgate a boycott against Israeli academics and academic institutions. Their threat to cut off all funding, visits, and joint publishing with Israeli institutions violates the fundamental principles of academic freedom and freedom of speech that are the hallmarks of great universities nationally and internationally. We hold these values most deeply at Berkeley, the birthplace of the Free Speech Movement.
I join in solidarity with President Lee Bollinger of Columbia University in support of Israeli scholars and institutions, and I join him in saying this to those members of the British UCU who would pursue this reprehensible action: if you seek to isolate Israeli universities then you must also include Berkeley, along with Columbia, in your boycott. We stand with all - including Prime Minister Tony Blair and British higher education officials - who have rightfully and strongly condemned this effort.
Robert J. Birgeneau
Read more about this issue:
- British Union Proposes Boycott of Israeli Universities, Chronicle of Higher Education, 6/8/07 (subscription required)
- Israel Outraged by British Boycott Calls, Associated Press, 6/13/07