[Marxism] Essay criticizes presidents who have condemned Israel boycott | Inside Higher Ed

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Thu Jan 23 06:09:01 MST 2014

Whose Academic Freedom Is Being Trampled?
January 23, 2014
By Ashley Dawson

On December 27, William Kelly, the interim chancellor of the City 
University of New York, the vast university system in which I teach, 
published a statement condemning the resolution of American Studies 
Association to boycott Israeli universities. In his statement, 
Chancellor Kelly wrote, “The need for global cooperation has never been 
more urgent, and we repudiate any effort to foreclose productive 
dialogue.” Who, one might wonder, is this we the chancellor is invoking, 
and who exactly is foreclosing dialogue?

Kelly’s statement is part of a growing chorus of denunciations of the 
ASA resolution by university presidents and other academic leaders. In 
these public pronouncements, Kelly and his fellow executives almost 
always speak in the royal we, as if they talk for the entire university 
community. In many cases, such arrogation of the right to speak for the 
whole community is explicit. Amherst College President Biddy Martin, for 
example, writes in her rejection of the ASA resolution, “On behalf of 
the college, I express opposition to this academic boycott for several 
related reasons.”

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