Statements regarding boycott of Israeli universities

The university continues to reiterate its longstanding position in opposition to any boycott of Israeli institutions of higher education.

Letter to the community from the president and provost – Oct. 9, 2018

Remarks by U-M President Mark Schlissel
Sept. 20, 2018

I want to take a moment to address the recent situation in which a faculty member refused to provide a previously promised letter of recommendation for a student because she was seeking to study abroad in Israel – and to reiterate that this view is not the position of the University of Michigan, nor does it reflect the position of any department or unit on our campus.

I will state again: The University of Michigan strongly opposes a boycott of Israeli academic institutions.

The academic aspirations of our students – and their academic freedom – are fundamental to the University of Michigan, and our teaching and research missions.

We are committed as an institution to support our students’ academic growth.

We are a large and diverse public university, and the individual opinions of our community range widely on many issues. But personal views and politics should never interfere with our support of students. It is counter to our values and expectations as an institution.

The Regents, Executive Officers and I have been deeply engaged in this matter. We will be taking appropriate steps to address this issue and the broader questions it has raised.

University Record: SACUA says student merit should guide faculty recommendations (9/25/18)

University Record: Schlissel speaks out on professor’s refusal to support student effort to study in Israel (9/20/18)


University of Michigan statement
Sept. 18, 2018

Injecting personal politics into a decision regarding support for our students is counter to our values and expectations as an institution.

The academic goals of our students are of paramount importance. It is the university’s position to take all steps necessary to make sure our students are supported. In this particular situation, the student has asked that we respect this as a private matter.

While members of the University of Michigan community have a wide range of individual opinions on this and many other topics, the university has consistently opposed any boycott of Israeli institutions of higher education.

No academic department or any other unit at the University of Michigan has taken a stance that departs from this long-held university position.

The university’s approach has been stated publicly by university leaders, including this statement from the president and provost in 2013 and this statement from members of the university’s governing Board of Regents in 2017.