David Wippman.

President David Wippman’s most recent co-authored essay, “The campus war of words over antisemitism and the BDS movement,” began with these words, “The Hamas terrorist attacks of October 7 have highlighted sharp disagreements — among college and university leaders, students, faculty, alumni, politicians and the general public — over where to draw the line between protected speech and impermissible harassment or threats.”

Co-author Cornell Professor Glenn Altschuler and Wippman pointed to the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement as being the root of many of the recent campus divisions. In their essay appearing in The Hill, the authors expressed support for college administrators who have rejected academic boycotts “as threats to the free exchange of ideas.”

Altschuler and Wippman addressed “the daunting challenge facing colleges and universities, which must fulfill two imperatives that are sometimes at odds.” They closed with this observation, “Finding ways to foster a safe and inclusive learning environment without sacrificing their commitment to free and open inquiry may be the single most important — and most difficult — task facing higher education leaders today.”

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