Dartmouth College appoints dean who supported boycotts of Israel


(JNS.org) Dartmouth College drew criticism this week for appointing a past supporter of the anti-Israel BDS movement as dean of the Ivy League school’s faculty of arts and sciences.

The Dartmouth College campus. Credit: Kane5187 via Wikimedia Commons.

When he served as treasurer of the Native American and Indigenous Studies Association (NAISA), the appointee, N. Bruce Duthu, in 2013 co-authored the association’s “Declaration of Support for the Boycott of Israeli Academic Institutions.” 

Alan Gustman, a professor of economics at New Hampshire-based Dartmouth, told the Haym Salomon Center that the school’s message “seems to be that Dartmouth is perfectly comfortable appointing a dean who is in favor of the anti-Semitic BDS movement and is unaware of or is unconcerned with the contradictory public positions he has taken with regard to his obligations as dean of the faculty.”

Responding to the controversy surrounding his appointment, Duthu wrote in an email that he believes “in the right of private citizens to express criticism of any country’s government policies. Yet Duthu attempted to distance himself from the NAISA’s call to boycott Israel, stating, “I do not believe that a boycott of academic institutions is the appropriate response.” 

“Instead, I support sustained, open and collegial engagement with fellow academics, including collaborative research and teaching,” Duthu wrote, the Observer reported May 9.

Gustman called Duthu’s response “an attempt to avoid the anger his public advocacy of BDS has created without repudiating the reasons his positions created this anger in the first place.”

Posted on May 12, 2017 .