Indiana University, Kenyon College join schools leaving ASA over Israel boycott

Ransom Hall at Kenyon College, a school that has left the American Studies Association (ASA) over the ASA's boycott of Israel. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

( Indiana University and Kenyon College joined Brandeis University and Penn State Harrisburg as schools that have decided to quit the American Studies Association (ASA) over the group’s academic boycott of Israel.

“We should not be shutting out one side or the other, but rather open ourselves to engage in meaningful, substantial dialogue on fundamental questions with all sides,” said Sean Decatur, president of Gambier, Ohio-based Kenyon.

“Indiana University values its academic relationships with colleagues and institutions around the world, including many important ones with institutions in Israel, and will not allow political considerations such as those behind this ill-conceived boycott to weaken those relationships or undermine the principle of academic freedom in this way,” said Michael McRobbie, the school’s president.

Dozens of other universities—including Johns Hopkins, Harvard, Yale, Cornell, Princeton, Boston University, University of Pennsylvania, University of Connecticut, and University of Texas—issued statements rejecting the ASA’s boycott.

Dr. Stephen J. Whitfield, an American Studies professor at Brandeis, told regarding the ASA boycott, “It is a distraction, a distortion, and it has nothing to do with the scholarly and group research purposes of the organization.”

Posted on December 24, 2013 .