Statement by the University of Michigan President and Provost regarding the proposed boycott of Israeli Academic Institutions

December 23, 2013

The following is a statement by University of Michigan President Mary Sue Coleman and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost Martha Pollack on the proposed boycott of Israeli academic institutions:

The University of Michigan strongly opposes the boycott of academic institutions in Israel that was recently endorsed by several academic associations. While we affirm the right of individual faculty, faculties, and professional academic associations to hold and express different viewpoints, we believe that academic boycotts violate the principles of academic freedom and freedom of speech, which are fundamental to our missions of education and research.

The University of Michigan is committed to continuing and strengthening its long-standing and productive institutional relationships with Israeli universities and institutes. Many of our faculty and students have exciting and productive collaborations with counterparts there. For example, we have student exchanges with The Technion Israel Institute of Technology, an alliance with Ben Gurion University in renewable energy, and a groundbreaking collaboration in the biomedical sciences called the UM/Israel Partnership for Research that involves the Weizmann Institute of Science, The Technion and Tel Aviv University.

At the University of Michigan we are committed to global engagement at all levels and believe the free exchange of ideas is essential to advancing knowledge and strengthening mutual understanding.

We stand with and endorse the statement opposing the boycotts made by the Executive Committee of the American Association of Universities, the leading association of research universities in North America, of which the University of Michigan is a member as well as the statement of the Association of American University Professors.