Reflections by Webster University President Elizabeth (Beth) J. Stroble and and Provost Julian Z. Schuster
To the Webster University community:
At Webster University, members of our university community have, of course, been following and discussing the events in which three academic associations (most recently the American Studies Association) voted to support the boycott of Israeli universities.
There are questions and issues at two levels – on one level, some reaction and commentary is focused specifically on the root of the issue, the relationship of Palestine and Israel in all of its complexity and controversy. At this level, these are ongoing questions which have been, and will continue to be, debated in a multitude of forums.
At another level, there is the question of whether a blanket boycott is an effective or appropriate means to communicate one’s viewpoint or opinion about an issue – and, especially, whether such means are effective in academic settings.
We affirm the right of all to express their opinions freely and encourage, as institutions of higher education should and must, a diversity of viewpoints. We encourage continued conversation, research, and debate – all of which require that people on all sides of the issue can connect, engage and interact.
Elizabeth (Beth) J. Stroble
Julian Z. Schuster
Provost, Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer