Dismissal Recommended for Ward Churchill

by a majority of the University of Colorado Standing Committee on Research Misconduct. Six members recommended dismissal, two recommended suspension without pay for five years, and one recommended suspension without pay for two years. The committee also had this to say about the "[t]iming and [m]otivation of the [a]llegations" (paragraph break added):

In his response to the Investigative Committee's report, and in other communications with the SCRM, Professor Churchill has maintained that this investigation has been motivated by a desire to censure him for his controversial expressions of political positions. He has noted, accurately, that the allegations sent to the SCRM were the result of a review of his scholarly work by an administrative committee appointed by the Chancellor, and that this review occurred in response to a public outcry following public awareness of his so-called "9/11 essay."

Our position -- which we believe is consistent with that of the Investigative Committee -- is that while this context is important, it should not distract us from the critical points that (1) complaints of research misconduct were lodged; (2) these complaints required a response by the SCRM; (3) the investigation process proceeded as specified by University policies and procedures, and (4) the resulting findings and recommendations for sanctions were based solely on a review of the facts as determined by a panel of Professor Churchill's peers.

While acknowledging the larger context in which their work was done, both the Investigative Committee and the SCRM have been scrupulous about limiting their analyses to the facts as uncovered by the Investigative Committee. As such, we believe we have complied with Article 5D of the Regents Laws, which stipulates that disciplinary recommendations should not be "influenced by such extrinsic considerations as political, social, or religious views, or views concerning departmental or university operation or administration." Considerations of academic freedom and what Professor Churchill alleges to be "punishment for constitutionally protected speech" have not entered into our deliberations, except to the extent that we state our strong support for the former and our rejection of the latter.

Sounds quite right to me.

Thanks to Pirate Ballerina for the pointer.

The Drill SGT (mail):
Sounds like the SCRM knows this will end up in court and wants to establish their neutral basis for a decision.
6.13.2006 11:24pm
M. Stack (mail):
Ward Churchill is a disgrace not only as a professor, but as an American.

It is an outrage that he was paid to indoctrinate students with taxpayer dollars. He belongs on Al Jazeera or in the New York Times.
6.13.2006 11:35pm
A. Zarkov (mail):
Churchill has a good strategy for a plagiarist. Make a series of outrageous political statements. Then you can scream "retaliation" when you get caught. Then there is always the race card—he plays that too. He claims membership in the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians. But they say he is an honorary associate member, not an enrolled member. So he could be misrepresenting his race too.

One of the problems with conservatives is they are afraid of being called "racist." So they often end up dealing adversaries like Churchill in a very timid manner. They sound like president Merkin Muffley talking to premier Dimitri Kisof

"I'm sorry, too, Dimitri. ... I'm very sorry. ... All right, you're sorrier than I am, but I am as sorry as well. ... I am as sorry as you are, Dimitri! Don't say that you're more sorry than I am, because I'm capable of being just as sorry as you are. ... So we're both sorry, all right?! ... All right."

We all know what the president's name means.
6.14.2006 1:46am
msmith (mail):
...Ensuring Consistency in Hiring and Promotion Review
Many have asked how Professor Churchill received a tenured Associate Professor position, and subsequent promotion to Full Professor, apparently without going through normal review processes. We share that question, but have no answers since it was not directly germane to our investigation....

I think the answer is pretty obvious. The University of Colorado's academic standards vary directly with the level of public pressure brought to bear.

The typical towering courage normally found in academia. U of C does not disappoint. We can be sure there will be equally rigorous reviews of Churchill's fellow academics when it is time for their normal review. Can't we? Be sure? Sure we can.

Oh well, as we are often told freedom is not free (also a lie for the vast majority of Americans these days), and Churchill is paying the price for his freedom of expression.
6.14.2006 9:36am
On page 7 of the Report on Ward Churchill, which is linked above, are listed five areas of concern regarding his scholarly conduct and the paragraph concludes "Moreover, the Investigative Committee concluded that the misconduct was serious, repeated and deliberate." I think the lesson here is if you are going to be controversial, you better be perpared for scrutiny. He wasn't, he got caught and he should be terminated. His potential dismissal is not a matter of free speech.
6.14.2006 10:28am
Shangui (mail):
One of the problems with conservatives is they are afraid of being called "racist." So they often end up dealing adversaries like Churchill in a very timid manner.

Did I miss something in this whole controversy? Which conservatives dealt with Churchill "in a very timid manner"? All the ones I saw quoted (and the many comments on this site on the matter) were screaming for blood and calling him every name in the book (most of them well deserved). Do you have any examples of people you would consider politically conservative treating this matter with kid gloves in their public statments?
6.14.2006 11:57am
frankcross (mail):
msmith, he is not paying the price for his freedom of expression, he is paying the price for plagiarism.

You are probably right that the controversy brought the plagiarism to the front and produced this report, which would not have issued for lower profile academics. But that inconsistency is not a criticism of the Churchill action, it would be a criticism of the inaction in other cases. The fact that all criminals are not caught and punished is not a defense for the criminals who are caught and punished.
6.14.2006 12:46pm