Statement from Barry Mills on ASA Boycott of Israel

The free exchange of knowledge, ideas, and research, and open discourse among scholars are all essential elements of education and progress. While not every society promotes or even permits open dialogue, American higher education always has and must continue to do so.

Bowdoin College does not maintain an institutional membership with the American Studies Association, but I disagree with and reject the organization’s recently announced boycott of Israeli academic institutions. Rather than stifling discussion and the free exchange of ideas, Bowdoin seeks to serve the common good through direct and open engagement with and collaboration between researchers, scientists, teachers, and artists across the globe. To do otherwise is to disavow the values on which our College was founded and on which we have built our reputation for excellence.