Last week, The Recovering Politician was proud to break the news that University of Louisville President Jim Ramsey and University of Kentucky President Eli Capilouto each joined the growing list of college and university leaders (192 and counting) who have denounced the American Studies Association’s pernicious academic boycott of Israel. (Read about it here.)
Today, we are proud to share a letter written by Western Kentucky University President Gary Ransdell — to a proud WKU graduate studying in Israel — joining the anti-boycott chorus.
Thank you President Ransdell!
Congratulations on your move to Israel and your acceptance to Tel Aviv University’s MBA program. What an outstanding achievement for you! You are a wonderful example of why it is so important that WKU students have a global context to their education and why we strive to ensure that our graduates have the confidence to travel, live and work in other nations and cultures. I appreciate your thoughtful message regarding the American Studies Association’s boycott of Israeli universities. Your note prompted me to look deeper into this issue. As a University President I cannot condone or support a boycott of Israel or any nation’s higher education enterprise. Academic freedom is a core value of higher education and must be sustained. At WKU we have opened our doors to all nationalities and continually work to encourage our students and faculty to study in other nations. Such a boycott is counterproductive and impedes the very thing that must occur to create peace among nations – conversation, understanding and respect. So indeed, I will join the nearly 200 college and university presidents who have rejected the idea of this boycott. Thank you for your note. I’m so glad to know that your WKU experience was a great one and prepared you well. I wish you much success. Continue to spread that WKU Spirit wherever you go! Go Big Red! Gary