Eli Capilouto

Open Inquiry is Essential in Higher Education

Published: Jan 14, 2014

A college campus – perhaps more than anywhere else – is a cherished crucible for the free exchange of ideas and beliefs.

 

This is a fundamental characteristic when you consider that our faculty and staff are charged with developing new scholarship, and our students are at an age when their civic and personal philosophies are evolving. Over time, these necessary attributes of a campus have been challenged, debated and protected. Though honoring it can be demanding at times, our commitment to academic freedom, fostered in a safe and respectful environment, is at the core of our work in a university community. It is who we are.

 

Recently, I was reminded again of that fundamental tension as members of the American Studies Association (ASA) endorsed a resolution boycotting Israeli academic institutions for that country’s policies toward Palestine. The proposed boycott has elicited strong responses from other professional organizations in the academy -- ranging from the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) to institutional organizations such as the Association of American Universities (AAU) and the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU). Administrators and faculty -- individually and collectively -- at several colleges and universities also have engaged in the debate.

 

Their statements clearly indicate a national dialogue, one happening on college and university campuses like ours.  I disagree with the ASA’s resolution to boycott academic institutions in Israel.

 

The values of inquiry and discourse in American academia – applied within a scholar’s responsibilities as an academic – reflect the foundation and principles of our system of higher education.  

 

As institutions of higher learning, in particular, we are tasked with producing independent, testable scholarship, while educating the next generation of civic and business leaders. If we hope to advance our own understanding of the world around us, a scholar’s capacity to build a body of work in his or her field must run unimpeded by politics and external forces. At the heart of that process is the idea that many voices -- sometimes in harmony, sometimes discordant -- are critical to education and community.

 

Our capacity to foster constructive dialogue is at the core of what we do at the University of Kentucky. We should resist at all times temptations -- or voices -- that call on us to circumscribe or inhibit that dialogue. No matter where such temptation comes from, or however well-intentioned it may be, it is a self-defeating proposition.

 

We are better than that.

September
 
 
 
 
1
Louis Zoellar Bickett: Saving Myself
LGBTQ* and Friends Employee Picnic
Thu
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Louis Zoellar Bickett: Saving Myself
Fri
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Louis Zoellar Bickett: Saving Myself
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Louis Zoellar Bickett: Saving Myself
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5
Louis Zoellar Bickett: Saving Myself
Labor Day - Academic Holiday
Mon
6
Louis Zoellar Bickett: Saving Myself
Let's Talk!
Wildcat Wellness Workshop: EXPRESSIONS
Tue
7
Louis Zoellar Bickett: Saving Myself
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Wildcat Wellness Workshop: MEDITATION
UK Women's Club Volleyball - Open Gym
From The Streets to The Stage With Monti Washington
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8
Louis Zoellar Bickett: Saving Myself
Let's Talk!
Wildcat Wellness Workshop: YOGA
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Louis Zoellar Bickett: Saving Myself
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2016 New Chinese Students Welcome Party
Accounting Internship & Career Fair
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10
Louis Zoellar Bickett: Saving Myself
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11
Louis Zoellar Bickett: Saving Myself
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Whipping In The Kitchen
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12
Louis Zoellar Bickett: Saving Myself
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Let's Talk!
Mon
13
Louis Zoellar Bickett: Saving Myself
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Wildcat Wellness Workshop: EXPRESSIONS
UKWC Welcome Coffee
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14
Louis Zoellar Bickett: Saving Myself
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Last Day to Drop a Course Without Appearing on Transcript
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Wildcat Wellness Workshop: MEDITATION
Greek Park Pictures
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Louis Zoellar Bickett: Saving Myself
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16
Louis Zoellar Bickett: Saving Myself
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Louis Zoellar Bickett: Saving Myself
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18
Louis Zoellar Bickett: Saving Myself
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19
Louis Zoellar Bickett: Saving Myself
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20
Louis Zoellar Bickett: Saving Myself
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UK Women's Forum Board Meeting
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21
Louis Zoellar Bickett: Saving Myself
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24
Louis Zoellar Bickett: Saving Myself
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25
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Film Screening of "The Fly Room"
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26
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Film Screening of "The Fly Room"
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Empower: People of Color Support Group
Film Screening of "The Fly Room"
Mon
27
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FIFA Tournament
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UK Engineering and Computer Science Career Fair
Banned Books--A short history
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28
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FIFA Tournament
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Horticulture Club Farm Market Sale
Cats Got The Vote
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29
Louis Zoellar Bickett: Saving Myself
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FIFA Tournament
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Yoga at Commonwealth Stadium
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30
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Indonesia Focus Conference
Indonesia Focus Conference
Craft Writing: Beer, the Digital, and Craft Culture
Fri
 
Sep 25
Film Screening of "The Fly Room" 09/25/2016 - 09/26/2016

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Repeats every 7 days until Tue Dec 20 2016 .
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