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BREAKING: Duthu ‘80 Is Faculty Dean; Authored Anti-Israel BDS Petition

Duthu.jpgThe French have a saying, Jamais deux sans trois (“never twice without a third”), and after Phil Hanlon’s disastrous selection of Provost Carolyn Dever and VP for Advancement Bob Lasher, it was not hard to predict that Phil would make a bad mistake in his choice for Dean of the Faculty — especially when he told the May 9, 2016 Meeting of the Faculty that he would be choosing his candidate from a limited pool:

My history in dean searches is probably relevant here. In my day I have conducted nine dean searches, all of them national searches. In every case I insisted that the search process generate a deep, talented, diverse pool of internal and external candidates from which to choose. In five of those cases I hired an internal candidate; in four of them I hired an external candidate. Of the nine, only two of the deans I hired were white males; four of them were people of color. So, that sort of tells you what I am looking for in the search… [Emphasis added]

Bruce Duthu ‘80 is by all accounts a nice guy. Here is the College’s description of his background:

A member of the United Houma Nation and an expert on federal Indian law and tribal sovereignty, Duthu is the author of numerous book chapters and articles, and of two books: American Indians and the Law (Viking/Penguin Press), and Shadow Nations: Tribal Sovereignty and the Limits of Legal Pluralism (Oxford University Press), which was the basis for an international symposium hosted in 2013 by the University of Trento, in Trento, Italy: “Indigenous Peoples’ Sovereignty and the Limits of Judicial and Legal Pluralism.” Duthu’s book was the topic of several panel discussions in which he participated…

After graduating from Dartmouth with a major in religion and a certificate in Native American Studies, Duthu earned his law degree from Loyola University School of Law. He returned to Dartmouth in 1986 to direct the Native American Studies Program. He later became associate dean of first-year students and director of the academic support program.

In 1991, Duthu joined the faculty of Vermont Law School in South Royalton, Vt., and was founding director of the law school’s Partnership in Environmental Law and Energy Policy with Sun Yat-sen University Law School in Guangzhou, China. As a visiting professor, he has taught at universities in Italy and Australia, and at Harvard Law School.

In 2008, he returned to Dartmouth as a professor of Native American Studies, chairing that program from 2009 to 2015. Duthu helped develop an interdisciplinary program in Santa Fe, N.M., where Dartmouth students get to know members of Native American tribal communities.

Two of Duthu’s publications have received 81 citations each; the remainder have been cited 17 times or less.

Of greater concern is the fact that Duthu seems to lack any significant administrative experience. He has been Frank J. Guarini Associate Dean of the Faculty for International Studies and Interdisciplinary Programs since May 18, 2016 — all of ten months. One would expect the College’s Dean of the Faculty to have had an extended, successful tenure as a divisional dean or the head of a professional school.

Nor does Duthu have any relevant background in the sciences. Given that Phil Hanlon and Carolyn Dever have both declared that the upgrading of the College’s science programs is an important goal, Duthu is a curious choice.

Finally, and of greatest concern, is the man’s politics. He signed the American Studies Association petition urging the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) directed at Israeli universities:

Boycott Map.jpg

Additionally he is listed as an author of the Declaration of Support for the Boycott of Israeli Academic Institutions by the Council of the Native American and Indigenous Studies Association:

Duthu NAISA Petition Comp.jpg

Duthu NAISA Petition Authors Comp.jpg

It seems clear that Phil Hanlon and Carolyn Dever were aware of Duthu’s BDS activiies. In the announcement to the faculty of their decision, they stated:

We would also like to thank Kathryn Cottingham, professor and chair of biological sciences, and Mona Domosh, professor of geography, who co-chaired the search committee that recommended finalists for the dean’s job. They led a process that began with extensive consultation across the faculty of Arts and Sciences and concluded with a recommendation of finalists for the position. These finalists were then interviewed by the president and provost, members of the board of trustees, and other members of the president’s senior team; extensive referencing was conducted in advance of the final decision. [Emphasis added]

It is worth noting that at the time of the ASA boycott petition, Phil wrote a note to the College community in which he disagreed with the idea of boycotts and diminished academic contacts.

Addendum: Bruce Duthu was on the search committee that chose Carolyn Dever as our Provost. That action does not say much for his judgment of people.

Addendum: A Hanover-based alumnus writes in:

The true mark of a weak leader is poor hiring, perhaps because the leader is insecure and doesn’t want to risk having subordinates who might outshine him? Is the clock ticking on the Hanlon administration yet, or will he get the full 10 years to drive Dartmouth so far into the swamp it will be impossible to get back out?

I know Bruce Duthu, happen to like him, think he is a nice guy, and maybe he will turn into a legendary Dean. But nothing in his background indicates that we have chosen a rising star or a Diamond in the Rough.

And, on the Israel boycott — could you imagine the career suicide of signing a similar statement condemning the Iranians, Syrians, Castro’s Cuba, or even Hamas? Hypocrisy is alive and thriving in the academy!

Addendum: A Dartmouth parent writes in:

Ain’t hypocrisy grand? I guess genocide in all its degrees only matters when people of European heritage are perpetrating it. I’m always dazzled how these Social Justice Warriors are delighted to collaborate with the Chinese government, its educational institutions and any and all of its entities. Or perhaps Tibetans don’t count, for some as-yet unrevealed reason, as “indigenous peoples?”

I’m a strong believer, myself, in the power of boycotts and economic leverage, and I think Israel is a de facto theocracy and holds no moral high ground, but it isn’t unique in oppressive behavior towards inhabitants of territory it would prefer to entirely control and inhabit itself.

Somehow I don’t see a mass renunciation of goods made in China to be in the future of our moral guides here.

Addendum: An alumnus writes in:

Very disheartening about these bozos getting into critical positions. All they think about is diversity and to hell with everything else. Agree with you on Israel and his stance.

Addendum: And another:

I rarely reply but felt compelled. Would the academic world not be equally justified in supporting BDS of American universities given the criminal behavior of our current administration?

Addendum: A Dartmouth parent comments:

This will do wonders to attract prospective Jewish applicants. I wonder if Michael Bloomberg and Leon Black are aware of this appointment.

Addendum: A friend from Geisel writes in:

There is no question that Duthu is free to express his opinion both as a private citizen and as a faculty member. However, as someone who advocates boycotting universities based on their country of origin, he promotes exclusion, bigotry and close-mindedness. Such a person is not fit to be a dean of faculty at Dartmouth that allegedly endorses and protects inclusion, diversity and openness.

Will the Dartmouth administration take a principled stand and reconsider its decision? I would hope so based on the recent precedent of Bishop Tengatenga.

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