[News] Ward Churchill returns to CU for unsanctioned class

Anti-Imperialist News news at freedomarchives.org
Wed Oct 3 10:57:57 EDT 2007

Ward Churchill returns to CU for unsanctioned class


Controversial ex-professor bars press from classroom

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Former University of Colorado professor Ward 
Churchill on Tuesday began what he told students 
would become a series of classes held at the 
school despite being fired from his position in July.

Churchill elicited applause and handshakes from 
the majority of the 30 or so CU students and area 
residents who came to hear his lecture, which he 
titled "ReVisioning American History: 
Colonization, Genocide and Formation of the U.S. Settler State."

Churchill, who did not allow the Camera to attend 
the class, said the group would come up with various topics to discuss.

"I've been invited by people who are concerned 
with content of the mind," Churchill said.

Churchill sparked a national furor in 2005 after 
his essay on the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks 
called some victims "little Eichmanns," a 
reference to Adolf Eichmann, who helped carry out 
Hitler's plan to exterminate Europe's Jews during World War II.

The controversial former professor was invited to 
speak in a classroom at CU's Eaton Humanities 
Building by a group of student supporters who 
rented out the space. Churchill handed out a 
class syllabus, which includes scheduled classes 
to be held Oct. 9 about colonialism, Oct. 23 on 
genocide and Oct. 30 about racism.

A written introduction to the class states that 
it "carries no credit, fulfills no institutional 
requirements, involves payment of no tuition, 
entails no paycheck to its instructor. ... It is 
therefore in no sense bound by the rules 
supposedly governing courses offered in the university catalogue."

Aaron Smith, a 24-year-old senior political 
science and ethnic studiesmajor, said he helped 
organize the class because he and other students 
wanted to hear what Churchill had to say.

"We were deprived of his teaching," Smith said of 
the university's decision to fire Churchill, who 
taught American Indian studies. "He was one of 
the most valuable professors we've had on this campus."

CU regents voted 8-1 to fire Churchill because of 
academic-misconduct violations. Churchill has not 
been allowed to hold official classes on the 
campus since May 2006, when a panel of scholars 
found patterns of deliberate academic-misconduct 
violations, including plagiarism and fabrication.

Tuesday's class, which student organizers said 
would likely continue for three weeks and then 
reconvene in the spring for a "second semester," 
is not sanctioned by the university. University 
spokesman Bronson Hilliard on Tuesday emphasized 
that Churchill was speaking at a "private event."

The event drew the attendance of former Churchill 
students and those who had only heard his name 
before through media reports of his controversial tenure at CU.

Tracking Churchill

Last we knew: University of Colorado regents 
voted 8-1 to fire controversial professor Ward 
Churchill on July 26 amid accusations of academic misconduct.

Churchill said after the vote: "I am going nowhere."

Latest: Churchill appeared Tuesday night at CU's 
Eaton Humanities Building for what he said was 
the first of a series of classes, titled 
"ReVisioning American History: Colonization, 
Genocide and Formation of the U.S. Settler 
State." The class is not sanctioned by the university.

Next: Churchill plans to convene his class on 
Oct. 9, 23 and 30. A student organizer said 
Churchill will also return for a "spring semester."

"I'm coming into this very skeptical," said 
Russell Hedman, a 21-year-old senior political 
science major at CU. "I'm skeptical that there's 
something here that I'm missing ­ but I'm also 
coming into this with an open mind."

Kelly Tryba, a CU journalism instructor who was 
holding class next door to Churchill's lecture, 
was critical of Churchill for not allowing the Camera inside the classroom.

"I think any student group should be able to rent 
out a room and have someone speak; but anyone 
should be able to go," she said. "The freedom of speech goes both ways."

Two men who identified themselves as event 
organizers turned away three male CU students at 
the door, calling them "agitators."

One of the men watching the door, who did not 
give his name, became physical with a Camera 
reporter who tried to enter the room ­ grabbing 
his arm and pushing him ­ prompting a report to police.

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