This is a way forward others can follow

September 16, 2015 19:43

It is a primary duty of universities to uphold the fundamental principles of academic freedom and freedom of speech within the law.

Academic staff own the right to research, debate and disseminate their findings without fear of censorship or control. These responsibilities are ones which are elemental to the mission of the University of Exeter; principles which express the very heart of our academic endeavour.

So our planned conference on Settler Colonialism in Palestine, funded by peer review, will go ahead on the October 2-4, reflecting the importance of the role that universities play not in deciding who is right or wrong but in providing a safe space for ideas to be heard.

In hosting any academic conference, it is also our legal and moral responsibility to ensure that nobody is excluded because of their beliefs or views, and that we provide an environment for open discourse for the advancement of knowledge. But there is no obligation for universities to provide a balance of views, despite what some have argued.

The University of Exeter must remain neutral in order to ensure there is opportunity for all views to be expressed no matter how challenging to individuals, groups or even nations.

In dialogue with the Jewish community it has been our utmost priority to respect the community’s perspectives, and fully acknowledge their views around our academic conference. We have therefore sought to shed more light on the issues at hand by providing a further opportunity for debate, after our conference has taken place.

September 16, 2015 19:43

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