University of Calgary

Commentary:  Boycott Must be Condemned, by  President and Vice-Chancellor Harvey P. Weingarten

June 27, 2007

In May this year Britain's University and College Union called for a boycott of Israeli academics and Israeli academic institutions.  The organization, which has 120,000 members, is Britain's main faculty union, and the proposed boycott has generated considerable controversy.  I offer my personal commentary.

The role of universities is to promote, permit and enable the free exchange of id4eas, debate and civil discourse.  If universities do not support these values, which societal institutions will?  The proposed boycott runs counter to these values and must be opposed and condemned.

I encourage our British colleagues to reject the proposed boycott, and all those who value the idea and ideas of a university to speak out against it.