August 13, 2007
Stacey Schmeidel
Director of Public Affairs

Amherst College is strongly opposed to the boycott of Israeli academics and universities currently under consideration by the United Kingdom's University and College Union. We believe in academic freedom and in the full exchange of ideas as the surest basis of resolving differences and the bedrock of liberal education. We find the notion of exclusion from debate, even the exclusion of views many disagree with, to be abhorrent and misguided.

For these reasons, following consultation with the Trustees, I joined in signing the statement against the proposed boycott circulated by Columbia President Bollinger early this summer. I also offered to contribute to pay for an ad publicizing our firm commitment. I did not, however, choose to participate in an ad sponsored by the American Jewish Committee. I was and remain concerned that our principled stance against a boycott and for academic freedom would be diluted or compromised by an ad sponsored by a third party, no matter how distinguished that group might be.

I will continue to look for opportunities to ensure that Amherst's position is clearly stated on such deeply important issues.

-- President Anthony W. Marx