Appointed Dean at Dartmouth Steps Down After Anti-Israel Activism Revealed

The president of Dartmouth College announced in an email to faculty on Monday that a recently appointed dean of faculty has declined the position following widespread outcry over his support for academic boycotts of Israel.

Professor N. Bruce Duthu’s appointment in March came under heavy criticism after it was revealed that he co-authored a 2013 declaration backing boycotts of Israeli universities for the council of the Native American and Indigenous Studies Association (NAISA).

President Phil Hanlon said that Duthu will remain at Dartmouth as a professor of Native American studies.

Duthu, who was set to assume the position of dean of the faculty of arts and science in July, also stepped down as associate dean of the faculty for international studies and interdisciplinary programs.

The decision to appoint Duthu, an advocate of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel, to a top administrative post raised questions about Dartmouth’s commitment to academic freedom. BDS aims to restrict engagement with Israel, academic and otherwise, until it accedes to a number of unilateral Palestinian demands, and many of its leaders have affirmed that they seek Israel’s destruction. The campaign was rejected by the president of Dartmouth and many other university heads, including former President of Harvard University Lawrence Summers, who warned that academic divestiture and boycott movements singling out Israel were “anti-Semitic in effect if not intent.”

In a faculty-wide email on May 3rd protesting Duthu’s promotion, Dartmouth Economics Professor Alan Gustman noted:

The chant of the BDS movement, from the river to the sea, is anti-Israel, anti-Zionist, and profoundly anti- Jewish. It refers to sweeping the Jews out of Israel. Where else do we find movements advocating action against the academic institutions in any country but Israel, including many truly bad actors in the world?

BDS is singling out Israel – the one country in the world that has a majority Jewish population. Indeed, this movement has become a cover for many anti-Semites who like nothing better than to once again be free to exercise their prejudices. It also is important to understand, especially when evaluating the significance of appointing a BDS advocate as the Dean of the Faculty, that BDS is not just a statement of beliefs or a philosophical movement: it is a statement of action.


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