[News] Ward Churchill returns to CU for unsanctioned class
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.
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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