Professor Dollinger Discusses Discourse on College Campuses

Friday, October 16, 2015
J WEEKLY -- Marc Dollinger, a Jewish Studies professor at SF State who is Jewish and a supporter of Israel, has witnessed many campus flareups over Israel and Palestine, including calls for boycott and divestment, as well as activist professors, and has reached some conclusions about the nature of academia. It comes down to two very different perspectives on the purpose of a university. The traditional view considers it a “dispassionate center for inquiry,” he contended. “Students get all sorts of different perspectives in order to form their own opinions. The job of the professor is to teach critical thinking, and not to tell the students exactly what to think.” However, the prevailing view found in Middle East studies, ethnic studies and the humanities couldn’t be further afield, according to Dollinger: “If one believes the world is based on power relationships based on gender, race and class, then one must use one’s tenure and classroom to right injustice.”