Pro-BDS Dartmouth professor declines offer to become dean

The BDS movement is considered by many to be an antisemitic campaign.

May 24, 2017 01:38
1 minute read.
Anti-Israel BDS

Anti-Israel demonstrators march behind a banner of the BDS organization in Marseille, June 13.. (photo credit: GEORGES ROBERT / AFP)

A professor of Native American studies at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire who coauthored a declaration urging the boycott of Israeli educational institutions walked back his acceptance as the dean of the college’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences on Tuesday.

N. Bruce Duthu, the associate dean of the Faculty for International Studies and Interdisciplinary Programs, wrote: “Whether warranted or not, this matter has been and will likely continue to be a significant distraction for me professionally and a source of considerable pain and frustration for me personally.”

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He added, “It also has the great potential to be damaging to the college in the long term, given the higher visibility and engagement with external audiences that come with the dean’s position.”

Duthu’s withdrawal letter was posted on the website of the Ivy League college’s newspaper, The Dartmouth.

According to the newspaper, an economics professor at the school circulated an email in early May drawing attention to Duthu’s anti-Israel activity.

Prof. Alan Gustman noted that Duthu was a co-architect of the Native American and Indigenous Studies Association’s 2013 “Declaration of Support for the Boycott of Israeli Academic Institutions.”

Gustman urged Duthu to rescind his support for “BDS [Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions] positions he has publicly endorsed.”

The Dartmouth reported that Duthu wrote Gustman that he does not now believe “a boycott of academic institutions is the appropriate response.”

Gustman rejected Duthu’s response as inadequate. Gustman previously called on Duthu to pull the plug on his appointment as dean, which was due to take effect on July 1, if he continued to endorse BDS.

The governors of all 50 US states disavowed BDS this month. German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union passed a resolution last year declaring BDS to be a new variation of the Nazi-era slogan: “Don’t buy from Jews.” In 2013, Dartmouth’s president Philip Hanlon said he did “not support this boycott” of Israeli academic institutions.

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