Letter to UKs University and College Union

July 31.2007

The following is the text of a letter that was sent to the General Secretary of the United Kingdom's University and College Union (UCU) on July 31, 2007:

Dear Ms. Hunt:

The United Kingdom's University and College Union (UCU) congress has encouraged the UCU membership to consider a boycott of scholars based at Israeli academic institutions. Such an act would be an assault on the fundamental principles of open discourse, exchange of ideas, and free argumentation, principles that lie at the very foundation of the academy and its missions of discovery, search for understanding, and education.

The University of Chicago fully supports the free flow of ideas and the free movement of scholars. We welcome scholars from all nations to the University of Chicago. We oppose any effort prompted by political views to restrict the flow of ideas and scholars. We deplore actions, such as those endorsed for consideration by the UCU congress, in which scholars purposefully exclude other scholars on the basis of nationality.

I urge the U. K. University and College Union to abandon all support of this proposed boycott that violates the highest principles of the world-wide academy.


Robert J. Zimmer