The Carillon (University of Regina)
REGINA — A partnership between the University of Regina and Hebrew University in Israel have been scrapped following a rally of students and community activists on Aug. 11 protesting the plans.
The U of R’s dean of business Andrew Gaudes issued a press release that day stating the following; “We did have some preliminary discussions about our students being able to take courses for credit at Hebrew University. Although these talks were undertaken in good faith, we are no longer pursuing such an arrangement, as the course content offered by Hebrew University did not meet our program needs.
“We are also no longer pursuing a study tour in the region.”
The relationships sought included a study tour for business students in both Israel and Palestine as well as a more contentious partnership with Hebrew University for an MBA in public safety. Anger over the program was derived from its potential content of policing, minorities and law enforcement, homeland security studies and political violence.
Provost and vice-president academic Tom Chase put all uncertainty to rest when he met with protesters after the rally, which was organized under the banner of “Coalition for a Free Palestine.”
“This afternoon I had a good meeting with representatives from the group that held the rally. It was a collegial discussion, and I appreciated their input,” Chase said. “Although our university has had discussions with Israeli institutions in the past, I am aware of no current or ongoing talks.”
“As a university we do not agree with a blanket exclusion of Israeli institutions from these types of conversations,” Gaudes wrote in the same press release. “The Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada, the national body representing 97 universities and colleges in Canada, takes a similar position. In fact, in July 2013 the AUCC signed a five-year memorandum of understanding with the Association of University Heads, Israel aimed at increased collaboration on research and teaching. The AUH includes Hebrew University.”
In 2012, U of R President Vianne Timmons and Gaudes both travelled to Israel separately. The Israeli government sponsored Timmons’ travel.
The Coalition for a Free Palestine urged the U of R to develop an ethical framework to be applied to all future partnerships.