Dartmouth President Phil Hanlon recently named Bruce Duthu to the exalted position of Dean of Faculty from his position as associate dean and professor of Native American Studies. In his professional capacity Duthu had co-authored an extremely distasteful organizational statement supporting a boycott of Israel academic institutions. He is a supporter of the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movement that conflicts with Dartmouth policy.
Professor Alan Gustman eloquently dissented from Duthu’s appointment. We posted Professor Gustman’s message to President Hanlon and the faculty in “At Dartmouth, Professor Gustman protests.” Professor Gustman’s message triggered that exchange that we posted in “That Duthu that you do so well.”
On Monday we received word that Duthu has resigned his position as associate dean and withdrawn from his appointment as Dean of Faculty. Inside Higher Ed reports the story with the obligatory twists here. Joe Asch has the true bead on this story with the saturation coverage he has provided at Dartblog (just this week, for example, here, here, here, here, and here).
This is the message Professor Duthu addressed to his colleagues on Monday:
It is with deepest regret that I write to say that I have declined the opportunity to serve as Dartmouth’s next Dean of the Faculty. I will also step down from my current position as Associate Dean to return to the faculty in Native American Studies as of July 1 this year.
As many of you know, the news of my appointment, at least in some circles, remains a source of concern and contention. 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. 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. Under these circumstances, I do not believe I can serve effectively as your Dean. I notified President Hanlon of my decision this past weekend.
I recognize and deeply appreciate the support, encouragement and trust that so many of you have expressed over these past several weeks. To those colleagues who stepped forward publicly to voice their support for my appointment and for me personally, I will remain forever and profoundly grateful.
Very truly yours,
N. Bruce Duthu
Did he jump or was he pushed? I assume the latter, but I don’t know.
With Duthu’s withdrawal, President Hanlon could and should have tried to take a lemon and turn it into a lemonade. Instead, with disingenuous, misleading and cowardly comments on Duthu’s withdrawal, Hanlon has taken a lemon and squeezed it into a vat of poison. Alumnus Roger Gerber eviscerates Hanlon’s comments in an open letter to Hanlon and the provost that Joe Asch has posted here.