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Regarding Faculty Conduct with Regard to Studying Abroad in Israel: Second Follow-Up NYU-AAUP Letter to NYU President Andrew Hamilton

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To: President Hamilton 

We find it perplexing, if not disturbing, to see that the opinion of a single, non NYU individual, and a highly controversial one at that, is being used to cast  aspersions on the conduct of NYU faculty in this manner. To label our  correspondence as the operations of an “outlier” is a time-honored tactic employed  to marginalize and demonize a set of beliefs. For the record, our chapter has not  taken a position on BDS. Its members hold a variety of views on the topic, as do  AAUP members nationwide, and so we support their right to express these views  and act on them. 

Moreover, it should be obvious to all that the NYU-AAUP voice on this matter is  hardly a marginal one on this campus. Other sectors of the NYU community are  expressing their views. Our graduate teaching assistants issued a statement earlier  this week, and we understand that dozens of undergraduate clubs are doing so too.  Maligning the faculty members of the AAUP chapter is neither collegial nor is it  going to eradicate the widespread sentiment, on this campus and others around the  country, to address the issues at hand. 

Nor, we should add, does the position taken in our recent correspondence appeal  directly to BDS principles. As we have pointed out, and as Professor Nelson (who  only speaks for himself) appears to neglect entirely, we are seeking here to defend  and protect fundamental campus principles of nondiscrimination and equal  opportunity, and to stand against racial profiling and the suppression of political  viewpoints. We would expect the same of every member of the NYU community.  At a time when NYU is struggling to pursue its “diversity goals,” any charges  regarding the violation of nondiscrimination policies ought to be taken very  seriously. 

While we take a dim view of the use of an outside voice to disparage our own  advocacy work, we do not, of course, believe that faculty and student conduct  around NYUTA is a wholly internal NYU matter, nor do we think it should be  adjudicated through a closed process. We trust that the NYU community as a whole is resourceful enough to approach the topic in a respectful way, and in a  manner that preserves the basic principles of academic freedom. 

Marie Monaco, president, NYU-AAUP 
Jim Uleman, vice-president, NYU-AAUP 
Molly Nolan, secretary, NYU-AAUP 
Anna McCarthy, treasurer, NYU-AAUP 
Paula Chakravartty, at-large executive member, NYU-AAUP
Rebecca Karl, at-large executive member, NYU-AAUP 
Vincent Renzi, at-large executive member, NYU-AAUP 
Andrew Ross, immediate past president, NYU-AAUP

Image via NYU SJP