Tag: ASA

U. Mass. Will Not Admit Iranian Students to Schools of Engineering and Natural Sciences (Updated)

This announcement was recently posted on the website of the graduate school of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst: The University has determined that recent governmental sanctions pose a significant challenge to its ability to provide a full program of education and research for Iranian students in certain disciplines and programs. Because we must ensure compliance with applicable laws and regulations, the University has determined that it will no longer admit Iranian national students to specific programs in the College of Engineering (i.e., Chemical Engineering, Electrical & Computer Engineering, Mechanical & Industrial Engineering) and in the College of Natural Sciences (i.e., Physics, Chemistry, Microbiology, and Polymer Science & Engineering) effective February 1, 2015. The full announcement and reasoning (US sanctions […]

NYU President John Sexton Supports the Boycott of Israel. Just Not the ASA Boycott.

NYU President John Sexton has come out against the ASA boycott of Israel. The boycott, writes Sexton,  is “at heart a disavowal of the free exchange of ideas and the free association of scholars that undergird academic freedom; as such, it is antithetical to the values and tenets of institutions of advanced learning.” NYU has a campus in Abu Dhabi, which is part of the United Arab Emirates. Guess who is banned from entering the United Arab Emirates? Israeli citizens. So, according to John Sexton, it is a violation of academic freedom for the ASA to refuse to partner with Israeli academic institutions; it is an affirmation of academic freedom for NYU to partner with Abu Dhabi, which not only […]

Does the ASA Boycott Violate Academic Freedom? A Roundtable

Does the American Studies Association (ASA) boycott of Israeli academic institutions violate academic freedom? According to the presidents of Harvard, Yale, Indiana University (see my comment on that university at the end of this post), and numerous other universities across the United States, the answer is yes. The question is: Why? I asked my Facebook friends that question. A bunch of people—some in favor of the ASA boycott, others opposed, others undecided—answered. I thought the discussion was worth reprinting here. Fair warning: it is a fairly narrow discussion. We were not considering the pros and cons of the boycott or where justice lies in the current Israel-Palestine conflict. We were simply trying to figure out whether and how the boycott […]

When it comes to the boycott of Israel, who has the real double standard?

Last month, Brandeis University announced that it was severing its decade-long relationship with the Palestinian university Al Quds. Since 2003, the  two universities have engaged in sustained academic exchanges, involving joint research projects, conferences, study abroad programs, and more. Brandeis severed the relationship in response both to an Islamic Jihad rally on the Al Quds campus that featured Nazi-style salutes, military-style outfits, and fake weapons, and to the failure, in Brandeis’s eyes, of the Al Quds administration to respond appropriately to that demonstration. Three Brandeis professors who have been involved in the Al Quds exchange wrote a lengthy report protesting this decision by Brandeis. In terms of actual academic exchange, this decision by Brandeis has a substantive impact. It ends […]