Esteemed UK university rejects boycott

82% UCU members of Imperial College of Science are against academic boycott.

antiboycott ad 224.88 (photo credit: Courtesy)
antiboycott ad 224.88
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Members of the University and College Union (UCU) at a prestigious British academic institution have voted overwhelmingly to reject their union's motion to consider a boycott of Israeli academic institutions. In a survey commissioned by its UCU branch, 82 percent of UCU members of the Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine, said they did not support Motion No. 30, voted on at the UCU conference in May, which calls for the boycott of Israeli academic institutions. Sixteen percent of those surveyed voted in favor of supporting the motion and 2% did not respond. A larger number of those surveyed said that there should be a national ballot of UCU membership prior to the union adopting any form of boycott. Ninety percent voted for a ballot with 6% disagreeing and 2% not responding "The members of Imperial College UCU have voted overwhelmingly - by more than five-to-one - to reject Motion 30 - the boycott of Israeli academic institutions," said Imperial UCU member and leading UK academic Michael J. McGarvey, Reader in Molecular Virology at Imperial's Division of Medicine. "In conjunction with the very similar results from the recent ballots of members at the University of Oxford and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, this clearly demonstrates that the vast majority of ordinary members of UCU are against a boycott and the damaging effects that this could have on British academia." "The huge difference between the votes of individual UCU members and the Congress Delegates, who voted in favor of Motion 30, means that it is now imperative that all ordinary UCU members are consulted on this issue, as soon as possible, by local branch ballots and through a national vote," McGarvey added. Established in 1907, Imperial College was an independent constituent part of the University of London until July 2007 when it was granted a new royal charter declaring it an independent university in its own right.