Monday, September 17, 2018

The Hypocrisy of University of Michigan Professor John Cheney-Lippold

This is yet another example of how BDS is anti-peace, and how it hurts Jewish students and pro-Israel students on campus.  BDS seeks to actively prevent students from learning about the conflict first hand.  By stifling opportunities to engage, it limits academic discussion and academic freedom.

Via Club Z:

Abigail, a student at the University of Michigan, asked her Professor, John Cheney-Lippold for a letter of recommendation for her study abroad trip to Israel. Cheney-Lippold agreed initially, then rescinded his original offer, citing the academic boycott of Israel.

Tilly Shames, executive director of the University of Michigan Hillel, sent out this email:

You may be aware of the issue regarding a University professor's refusal to offer a letter of recommendation to a student applying to an Israeli university. Our Hillel has been actively engaged on this issue with the Provost's Office and other University leadership. Like many of you, we expect to hear the University strongly condemn this action and uphold the academic values of the institution by supporting all of our students' rights to the education they choose. This professor's decision is antithetical to the academic values of our University. A professor's political views should not factor into any student's access to learn, including studying in Israel.

We appreciate the University's serious attention to this matter at its highest levels, and support for the student involved. For us, the bottom line is our students and their campus experience. We are making ourselves available to our students as a supportive resource, and are actively engaging with our student leaders on how best to advocate and educate on this issue among our campus community.

If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to be in touch. Thank you, as always, for your support. 

She was likely disappointed by thie University of Michigan's tepid response

Statement from the  Public Affairs and Internal Communications  University of Michigan statement  Sept. 17, 2018
The University of Michigan has consistently opposed any boycott of Israeli institutions of higher education.

That position 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.

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

There also is no doubt that members of our campus community have a wide range of individual opinions on this topic and many other topics.

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.

It is disappointing that a faculty member would allow their personal political beliefs to limit the support they are willing to otherwise provide for our students.

We will engage our faculty colleagues in deep discussions to clarify how the expression of our shared values plays out in support of all students.

It is not readily apparent from the University's public statement if there will be any disciplinary action taken against  Prof. Cheney-Lippold

For more information see: 

University of Michigan ‘Disappointed’ After Professor Refuses to Write Recommendation Letter for Student Studying Abroad in Israel

Citing BDS, professor refuses to write reference for student to study in Israel

Professor Refuses to Write Letter For Student Wanting To Study Abroad in Israel

Pssst, Professor Cheney-Lippold.  Apple's second largest research and development facility in the world is in Herzilya, Israel.  Shouldn't you be boycotting Apple, too?

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. 

1 comment:

Shlomo Ben Hungstien said...

Just one more good example of how some of the most “educated” poeple in our society can be also some of the most stupidest and I’ll informed people as well. Pretty disturbing that we have so called professors like that teaching at America universities.