Academics oppose adoption of controversial ethics code

The Council for Higher Education has called on academic institutions to adopt a controversial code of ethics that would ban lecturers from expressing their political views in the classroom, but academics have opposed the move saying it would “stifle academic freedom”, writes Lidar Gravé-Lazi for The Jerusalem Post.

The code, initially written by Professor Asa Kasher, the author of the Israeli Defense Forces’ code of conduct, outlined five principles that comprise the proposals, including a controversial ban on lecturers from calling for or engaging in activity promoting an academic boycott of Israel and its academic institutions as well as a ban on promoting party propaganda in classrooms. The code includes a clause prohibiting faculty from promoting the idea of boycotting Israel. It also prohibits lecturers from presenting personal political beliefs as those belonging to the institution.

The council said the code will be adopted in the disciplinary rules of all academic institutions by the beginning of 2019, adding that the institutions will be required to report to the council on their implementation of the ethics code by the beginning of 2020. It has been sent to the heads of universities and colleges to provide their input and comments. Afterwards, it will return to the subcommittee for further discussion before the final version will be brought to the council’s plenum for a vote.
Full report on the Jerusalem Post site