[Ppnews] Panel Recommends Firing of Ward Churchill - Churchill responds

Political Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Wed Jun 14 14:03:52 EDT 2006

Ward's response follows

Panel recommends firing Colo. professor
By DAN ELLIOTT, Associated Press Writer
Tuesday, 6/13/2006


A University of Colorado committee recommended on Tuesday firing a 
professor who called some of the World Trade Center victims "little 
Eichmanns," citing repeated research misconduct.

The panel's recommendation now goes to university officials for a 
final decision.

Ward Churchill, a tenured professor of ethnic studies, denied the 
allegations. He has vowed to fight his dismissal with a lawsuit.

"Baloney. That's my one-word-response," he said. He noted there have 
been previous calls for his removal, "whether or not it was legal."

The school's investigation focused on allegations that Churchill 
committed research misconduct and plagiarism.

In a written statement, Churchill dismissed the investigation as an 
attempt to silence him. He said he "could have done it better" in 
minor areas on some of the research in question but said he was being 
held to higher standards than most academics.

"This process has not demonstrated that I engaged in any serious 
research misconduct but that, after more than a year of painstaking 
review, those charged with firing me could find nothing more than a 
few footnotes and questions of attribution to quibble over," he wrote.

The panel did not address his essay relating the 2001 terrorist 
attacks to U.S. abuses abroad. The essay referred to some World Trade 
Center victims as "little Eichmanns," a reference to Adolf Eichmann, 
who carried out Adolf Hitler's plan to exterminate European Jews 
during World War II.

The essay was largely ignored until January 2005, when it came to 
light before a scheduled speech at a college in upstate New York.

Churchill's case has been cited by conservatives as an example of how 
universities have overstocked their faculties with leftists. Others 
raised concerns about academic freedom.

June 14, 2006

Turning Quibbles Over Footnotes into Academic Felonies

My Trial By Media


Bolder, Colorado.

On February 2, 2005, Colorado Governor Bill Owens called for me to be 
fired because of statements I made about U.S. foreign policy that 
were clearly protected by the First Amendment. It would have been 
illegal to do so then, and it is just as illegal today.

More than 16 months ago Governor Owens informed then-CU President 
Betsy Hoffman that his office would "work closely with her and the 
Board of Regents to terminate" me. A few weeks later President 
Hoffman expressed her fears of a "new McCarthyism" to the Boulder 
faculty, and a few days later she resigned. Apparently this message 
was not lost on the remaining CU administrators.

The fact that CU has spent over a year and a great deal of money 
conducting a sham investigation of "research misconduct" does not 
convert an otherwise illegal action into a legitimate one. In its 
determination to fire me, the University has continuously violated 
its own rules, the Regents' laws on academic freedom, and the U.S. 
Constitution's guarantees of due process and equal protection. As 
today's press release illustrates, CU 
administrators have conducted a "trial by media," not a confidential 
personnel investigation. Today's report is but the latest step in 
this process.

After encouraging malicious and frivolous allegations to be made, 
Interim Chancellor DiStefano, as complainant, submitted the resulting 
media stories as if they were his own allegations of research 
misconduct. These were then investigated by a committee which, over 
my objections, was dominated by CU insiders. That committee's report 
has now been rubber stamped by the Standing Committee on Research 
Misconduct (SCRM), and SCRM's approval will proceed back up the 
internal hierarchy to Interim Chancellor DiStefano for his approval.

Anyone who bothers to read the investigative committee's 
unnecessarily long and obfuscatory report will see that the committee 
both deviated from and far exceeded its mandate to served as an 
unbiased, non-adversarial, fact-finding body. Instead, it functioned 
as prosecutor, jury and judge. Despite the availability of outside 
experts in my field, no one on the committee had expertise in 
American Indian Studies and the committee included no American Indians.

The investigative committee artificially constricted the time and 
manner of my responses and then disregarded the evidence I was able 
to present. It did not measure my work against the accepted practices 
of my discipline; instead it invented and applied a secret set of 
standards. Even so, it was unable to provide the required evidence 
that I violated relevant norms and, in the end, resorted to 
recommending harsh sanctions because I did not have the "right attitude."

This process has not demonstrated that I engaged in any serious 
research misconduct but that, after more than a year of painstaking 
review, those charged with firing me could find nothing more than a 
few footnotes and questions of attribution to quibble over.

University of Colorado administrators have simply confirmed that they 
will shamelessly cater to political pressure, discarding the most 
basic principles of academic freedom in their attempt to silence me 
and discredit my work.

The Freedom Archives
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