Ramage: A Good Man Wronged

N. Bruce Duthu '80 deserves to be dean of the faculty.

by Eliana Ramage | 5/30/17 12:35am

In light of the brutal accusations of anti-Semitism leveled against Native American studies professor N. Bruce Duthu ’80, I feel his detractors have refused to hear what hundreds of former students know and understand: For Duthu, the call to serve his students comes before all else.

Within a year of the Native American and Indigenous Studies Association’s letter urging a boycott of Israeli institutions, I came to Duthu’s office seeking advice.

I was three months out from marrying an Israeli-American — from moving to Israel, taking on Israeli citizenship, applying to an Israeli university for graduate school. In retrospect, it was the most important meeting I’d had in my life. And it wasn’t really about Israel.

We discussed marriage. What it meant to commit to someone at a young age, how we would grow and change. We discussed academia. We discussed indigenous identity, home and children. He said my fear of being perhaps the only citizen of my tribe in Israel was legitimate, but that to make a decision out of fear would limit the life I was still building. I was at the brink of so many decisions then, and he gave me the strength to make them.

I say all this because I left Duthu’s office with no idea of his opposition to Israeli governmental policies. Had I known, despite my own opposition to the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, it would have made no difference. Duthu is a man of unending kindness and integrity who quietly guides his students through the world. He leads us to uncover what matters to us, to become the very scholars and citizens who, like him, seek to understand the views of others before insisting on our own. With Duthu as dean of faculty, Dartmouth would have been a better place.

– Eliana Ramage ’13

Ramage is a member of the Class of 2013 and a current candidate for a Master of Fine Arts degree at the University of Iowa. She splits her time between Iowa City, Iowa and Tel Aviv, Israel.

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