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.