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Text of University of Colorado President's Letter About Ward Churchill:

Thanks to Diana Hsieh (NoodleFood):

TO: CU-Boulder Students

FROM: Office of the President

SENDER: officeofthepresident@cu.edu

DATE: 07/24/07

SUBJECT: Communication from President Hank Brown on the Board of Regents Vote

Dear Students of the University of Colorado,

The Board of Regents today voted to accept my recommendation to dismiss Professor Ward Churchill from the faculty.

I made the recommendation for the good of the university. CU's success depends upon its reputation for academic integrity. A public research university such as ours requires public faith that each faculty member's professional activities and search for truth are conducted according to the high standards on which CU's reputation rests.

We are accountable to those who have a stake in the university: the people of Colorado who contribute $200 million annually in tax dollars, the federal entities that provide some $640 million annually in research funding, the donors who gave us more than $130 million this year to enhance academic quality, the alumni who want to maintain the value of their degrees, the faculty and staff who expect their colleagues to act with integrity, and the students who trust that faculty who teach them meet the high professional standards of the university and the profession.

Given the record of the case and findings of Professor Churchill's faculty peers, I determined that allowing him to remain on the faculty would cast a shadow on our reputation for academic integrity.

Throughout the case, we have adhered to shared governance procedures as determined by the CU Faculty Senate Constitution and Bylaws and adopted by the Board of Regents. During the course of two-plus years, Professor Churchill presented his position in writing, in person, with his attorney and with witnesses of his choosing. He was afforded full due process.

More than 20 tenured faculty members (from CU and other universities) on three separate panels conducted a thorough review of his work and found that the evidence shows Professor Churchill engaged in research misconduct, and that it required serious sanction. The record of the case shows a pattern of serious, repeated and deliberate research misconduct that falls below the minimum standard of professional integrity, including fabrication, falsification, improper citation and plagiarism. No university can abide such serious academic misconduct.

Professor Churchill fabricated historical events and sought to support his fabrications by manufacturing articles under other names. His publications show more than just sloppy citations or using the work of others without crediting them. The Investigative Committee of the Standing Committee on Research Misconduct found multiple instances of falsification, fabrication and plagiarism. Any student engaging in such a wide range of academic misconduct would be seriously sanctioned. We should hold our faculty to a high standard of professionalism

While Professor Churchill's peers on the faculty panels were unanimous in finding research misconduct, views on the appropriate sanction varied. Some faculty recommended dismissal while others suggested a less severe penalty. My obligation as president is to recommend to the Board of Regents an appropriate sanction that is for the good of the university.

Some on the Boulder campus and beyond claim Professor Churchill was singled out because of public condemnation of his writing about September 11, 2001. They see this case as a referendum on academic freedom. The university determined early in the process that his speech was not at issue, but that his research was. The prohibition against research misconduct extends to all faculty, regardless of their political views. We cannot abandon our professional standards and exempt faculty members from being accountable for the integrity of their research simply because their views are controversial.

Professor Churchill's activities not only run counter to the essence of academic freedom, but also threaten its foundation. Academic freedom is intended to protect the exploration and teaching of unpopular, even controversial ideas. But that pursuit must be accompanied by the standards of the profession. Academic freedom does not protect research misconduct. After his research misconduct was identified, Professor Churchill did not admit any errors or come forward to correct the record, as is expected in the profession.

CU's most important asset is its academic reputation. Professor Churchill's actions reflect poorly on the University of Colorado, but we will not let the research misconduct of one individual tarnish our reputation. Our faculty members take pride in their work and demonstrate their respect for the high standards of their profession and this university day in and day out. Professor Churchill's research misconduct is an affront to those who conduct themselves with integrity.

We will remain accountable to those who have high expectations of Colorado's flagship university. And our faculty will remain true to high professional standards to ensure our reputation for academic integrity remains intact.

Sincerely,
Hank Brown
President

Here's the Report and Recommendations of the [University of Colorado] Standing Committee on Research Misconduct Concerning Allegations of Research Misconduct by Professor Ward Churchill. Six of its nine members had recommended dismissal; two recommended suspension without pay for five years; one recommended suspension without pay for two years.

I think President Brown's action is correct, for reasons I gave last year:

As best I can tell, from what press accounts I've read and from the Report itself, Churchill hasn't shown any contrition. His falsification, fabrication, and plagiarism (in the Committee's words), which the Committee quite plausibly found to be deliberate, are substantial.

And these are falsehoods in his published work, which can readily be checked. How can his future students be confident that things he says in class are accurate? (Yes, we try to instill skepticism in our students, but they still rightly expect that they can count on our factual assertions, rather than double-checking every word.) How can his colleagues, and Colorado taxpayers, be confident that his students are learning things accurately? His work has been cited by over 100 times in law reviews alone, and law isn't even his main field; I assume that quite a few scholars are now wondering whether their reliance on his work led their own work to be in error. How can other scholars, and his other readers, ever rely on anything he says?

It seems to me that keeping him on the faculty would be a substantial disservice to Colorado students, Colorado taxpayers, and the academic fields in which he works. I hope that in its sympathy for a colleague, and its desire to avoid hassle or even litigation, the University doesn't lose sight of that.

Diana Hsieh (mail) (www):
As a graduate student instructor, my major concern was that if Ward Churchill wasn't fired, I would see a marked increase in plagiarism and other forms of cheating from my students, who would have gotten the loud-and-clear message that such cheating is no bar to success in academia, at least not at CU. I would have continued to enforce proper standards in my own classroom, but the students would have been right to think, "Gee, if professors aren't held to basic standards of honesty, why should I be?" I'm enormously relieved not to have to fight that battle in my classes.
7.25.2007 2:06pm
WHOI Jacket:
Just make controversial statements, and then any action taken against you becomes "retribution/silencing/etc".

Nice work, if you can get it.
7.25.2007 2:15pm
markm (mail):
Only if they're left-wing controversial statements. If he'd made outrageous right-wing statements, the falsification of his resume would have been enough for a firing. Not that there's anything wrong with that, anyone who obtained his job fraudulently should be fired, what's ridiculous is that this has been known for years, and they had to spend two years investigating everything else and prove "fabrication, falsification, improper citation and plagiarism" in many more places - and yet three committee members still thought that something less that firing was appropriate.

Perhaps Churchill is delusional and truly believes all his fabrications. If that was presented and proven like an insanity defense, I'd agree that he wasn't morally culpable - but he still wasn't qualified for the job in the first place.
7.25.2007 2:41pm
wt (www):
Is the "evidence" that Churchill's termination is politically motivated entirely circumstantial? As in, he made the Little Eichmanns statement and then now, a little later, got fired?

Because I've seen no evidence of anyone at CU saying his political beliefs are reprehensible or that he just went to far with his academic work.

And if it's just circumstantial evidence, then WHOI Jacket makes a good point. If Churchill could get out of legitimate charges of misconduct just because he recently made controversial political statements, then the key to ever dismissing such legitimate charges is to say something really controversial right before you get caught.
7.25.2007 2:43pm
Smokey:
What took so long?
7.25.2007 2:56pm
David Walser:
This is a sad day. I believe Churchill should have been fired and that the process took entirely too much time to reach such an obvious result, but I take no joy in Churchill's situation.
7.25.2007 2:57pm
neurodoc:
Two years to get to this point, when the evidence was not particularly hard to gather or assess?!
Presumably, the standard for stripping one of tenure is higher than for denying someone tenure in the first place. The recent Finkelstein case at DePaul involved the denial of tenure to another angry Leftist with many supporters. In the end, the school said "no" to Finkelstein and his purported "scholarship," though unfortunately not in nearly so clear and unequivocal manner as UofCO has finally bounced Churchill. I think the limits of "academic freedom" are not much better delimited after either Churchill or Finkelstein, since in the former case who would ever think that "academic freedom" give one cover to lie in all the ways he did about supposed "scholarship." In the latter case, it was a matter of not granting tenure and the reasons were not as clearly articulated, e.g., his oeuvre couldn´t be counted as "scholarship" as that is understood for tenure purposes.
Interesting that when Brown cited all the money received from different sources by the school, he didn´t bother to put a number to student tuition.
7.25.2007 3:00pm
K:
Churchill has nothing to lose by playing all the cards.

He certainly has free legal help. And if the university or state makes the slightest mistake it may be forced to reset the procedure and take another two years to fire him.

Meanwhile he can try to negotiate a settlement to go away. Or elections may bring in people with other ideas.
7.25.2007 3:03pm
uh clem (mail):
Is the "evidence" that Churchill's termination is politically motivated entirely circumstantial?

His termination is not politically motivated. Or, more precisely, there's plenty of reason to terminate him, regardless of his extra-curricular opinions.

But the attention he garners is politically motivated - a couple years ago some right wing bloggers dug up an irrelevant unimportant nobody that no one had ever heard of and held him up as an example of their cartoonish idea of lefty academics.

(former) Prof. Churchill is completely irrelevant, except as a strawman. If he didn't exist, someone would have to invent him.
7.25.2007 3:06pm
Patrick216:
I remember seeing Ward Churchill's attorney on one of the Fox shows. The attorney, as I recall, argued that in the fallout from Churchill's post-9/11 remarks, the university was looking for a pretext to remove him from the faculty. He then argued that the university leveraged trumped-up academic misconduct charges made by jealous and/or rival professors as a pretext to fire him.

I have no idea whether the misconduct charges were trumped-up. It seems to me that falsification, sock puppetry and plagiarism are pretty difficult to "trump up:" one just needs to pull his articles and see. But I have to admit that on some level, Churchill's attorney is correct. Lazy and/or unethical faculty frequently abuse tenure and academic freedom rules. Although E.V. is too much of a gentleman to talk about such matters, I'm sure he could think of any number of UCLA faculty (in the university as a whole--I'm not talking about his law prof. colleagues) who pull all manners of shenanigans without fear of retribution.

But as the "due process" procedure CU had to go through to fire Churchill shows, disciplining a tenured faculty member is a difficult, expensive, and time-consuming thing. So as an administrator, you're not going to bother doing it unless you're really motivated. Professional ethics alone isn't going to cut it. But having CU turned into the laughing stock of major American universities just might have.
7.25.2007 3:15pm
Jim45 (mail):
Um, I've read a lot of liberal, progressive and radical literature in my time, and I have only one question?

Who the hell is Ward Churchill and why is the right obsessed with him?
7.25.2007 3:26pm
Eugene Volokh (www):
Patrick216: I haven't heard of any professor here at UCLA who has even been accused of plagiarism, falsification, or even the lesser sin of sock-puppetry. There are some who don't write much (one of the costs of tenure). There are some whose scholarship some might say is shallow or biased (though of course some would say the same about my scholarship). There are some who don't teach very well (though my sense is that my law school colleagues are generally very good teachers). But I don't know of any professors that have been credibly accused of serious misconduct, though I acknowledge that I know very little of what goes on outside the law school.
7.25.2007 3:30pm
Andrew J. Lazarus (mail):
Dismissing Churchill was entirely the correct course of action. Just because his conspicuous politics made him impossible to ignore is no excuse.

I wonder if he'll land at the American Enterprise Institute next to fellow fraudster John Lott [1, 2, 3]? Nah, that's a home for conservative liars!
7.25.2007 3:33pm
abu hamza:
Did anybody hear Churchill today on Democracy Now radio show? His brand of liberalism ought to be called 'irrelevantism' it was so out there. It's the first I heard of this story until I went to this website.

How is this a first amendment issue at all anyway? That professor can say whatever he wants, to whomever he wants, in whatever medium, so he's got his free speech. He can go on the radio, on TV, stand on a soap box, shout at strangers at a bus stop, etc. and say the people who died in 9/11 deserved it, the US is satan, etc etc ad nauseum. But the first amendment doesn't guarantee him a cushy academic job for life with abundant benefits. What a scoundrel who was deeply infested into the academic establishment.
7.25.2007 3:34pm
whit:
"if you live in glass houses, don't throw stones"

his scholarship was a fraud. he plagiarized. he lied.

of COURSE, much of the investigation into him was initially motivated by what he said. so what?

the saying is true. if you're entire existence is a fraud, then don't draw attention to yourself.

assume that none of this would have come to light if he hadn't made the "little eichmann" statement. it's still irrelevant.
7.25.2007 3:35pm
Charlie (Colorado) (mail):
I'ma sometime faculty member at CU Boulder, and (coincidentally, since I'm a computer scientist) a member of the Choctaw Nation, and I have to agree with Diana and Eugene.

Churchill shouldn't (and probably couldn't) be fired for the "little Eichmann's" comment --- although, having lost friends in that building, I don't claim I mightn't have taken great umbrage if he were to say it to me. But that's the way tenure is supposed to work, and for every Ward Churchill it protects, it protects ten or a hundred faculty members other places who say things like "evolution and natural selection are the best scientific explanation of speciation," and at least a few who follow that with "but I see a grand design in it from which I infer a Designer."

But Churchill wasn't fired for being an ass: he was fired for falsification, misconduct, and plagiarism. Whatever the reason for it originally being noticed (and remember that this wasn't the first time Churchill had been caught at it) there's no question that it's a fireable offense.

To the extent that it has any political content, it's probably "if you are a plagiarist, it's best not to call attention to yourself by being a divisive and contentious plagiarist."
7.25.2007 3:46pm
David Walser:
assume that none of this would have come to light if he hadn't made the "little eichmann" statement. it's still irrelevant.

Whit, many of Churchill's supporters argue for an extension of the exclusionary rule to such cases. If we wouldn't have learned of Churchill's many frauds absent the controversy surrounding his controversial, but protected, speech, we should not consider his frauds in judging his fitness to serve as a professor. I don't accept this approach, but the argument is not wholly without support.
7.25.2007 3:48pm
whit:
i understand that argument, but it's simply not a good one.

look at the effects if it were true. any public (or private) servant/employee who has committed fraud/crimes (in some states falsification of a resume is a crime as ridiculous as that may sound) merely need make controversial statements and all of a sudden he is "untouchable" for those offenses.

this reminds me a lot of pretext laws for law enforcement. you KNOW a guy is a drug dealer. arrested him for it 10X. now, he just speeds by you at 50 in a 25 zone. if you stop him for speeding, the defense attorney is going to argue that speed was the pretext for the stop. so, what's the result? similar.

the issue one has to ask oneself is if churchill was just "joe blow" academic and had committed the same pattern of offenses - would he be fired? the answer is clearly yes. at least at any reputable institution.

i find it also possible that if he never made his comments, he might never have been found out. oh well.

if it could be shown that the UNIVERSITY engaged in extraordinary measures to uncover his fraud that they would not have done if ward hadn't been WARD CHURCHILL the rabble rouser (tm), this exclusionary rule thing MIGHT have some merit. but what are you going to do? RETAIN the guy that everybody knows is a fraud?

actually, the exclusionary argument might make sense if (as above) it was the university that engaged in the extraordinary investigation. if it was people NOT associated with the university that did it, and brought the facts to light, it would be even more irrelevant. the exclusionary rule (the actual one) doesn't apply to citizens not acting as police agents who bring evidence to police's attention.

i think the legal terminology for that is "tough beans"
7.25.2007 3:56pm
uh clem (mail):
....many of Churchill's supporters argue for an extension of the exclusionary rule to such cases.

Um, where do you get off using the term "many" in the context of Ward Churchill supporters?

It's like saying "many people who believe Mickey Mouse is the Pope argue for an extension of the exclusionary rule."
7.25.2007 4:33pm
Kepler (mail):
Actually, there is a UCLA professor under federal investigation right now, for embezzlement. But, the university being a research institution, the first question asked (by the School of Public Health) was, "What about the integrity of the research?"

It is entirely appropriate for a University to focus on the quality of the research, as that is how it gets grant money. If the University loses its reputation, the grant money will dry up.

It was Churchill's own ego and stupidity that drew attention to his academic "record"; he has no one to blame but himself.

Links to articles about the prof in question are here and here.
7.25.2007 4:36pm
Hoosier:
"(former) Prof. Churchill is completely irrelevant, except as a strawman. If he didn't exist, someone would have to invent him."

I've heard this line before, and I don't know what it means. The only 'someone' who invented Churchill was Churchill. And thus his trouble: He was not who he said he was.

The right is correct about the general slant of college faculty--on average far more liberal than off campus, and a minority of genuine radicals. Churchill is not the only professor who made outrageous, blame-the-victim comments after 9/11. (We have a couple on this campus. Doesn't everyone?)

The nasty underside of this hateful contingent bubbles up at odd times. If this draws attention to current malfeasance on the part of a professor, don't blame Bill Buckley.
7.25.2007 4:40pm
David Walser:
Um, where do you get off using the term "many" in the context of Ward Churchill supporters? It's like saying "many people who believe Mickey Mouse is the Pope argue for an extension of the exclusionary rule."

You are, of course, correct. The original draft was "...both of Churchill's supporters argue...", but my editor made me change it. He said we couldn't know for sure whether Churchill might have as many as three or four supporters. We agreed on the use of the word "many" as accurate in the sense it means and a large percentage of Churchill's supporters, however few in number they may be. I should have stuck to my guns. I bowed to the pressures of the posting deadline and hope you'll forgive this lapse of integrity on my part. It won't happen again until it does.
7.25.2007 4:42pm
Diana Hsieh (mail) (www):
While it would be lovely to think that Ward Churchill has few supporters, I don't think that's true. I received more than a few e-mails to our philosophy department's graduate list -- usually forwarded via our feminist philosophy professor -- defending Churchill. Even Brian Leiter (phil of law, UT Austin, also of the Gourmet Report) defended Churchill. (He even went so far as to post a superbly condescending comment in response to my brief comment on his post. He managed a dig about "Volokh," presumably Eugene.)

Obviously, I have no idea of the actual numbers of Ward Churchill supporters. From what I've seen, however, they don't seem to be anywhere near as close to zero as I'd like.
7.25.2007 5:07pm
Hoosier:
David Walser: Are we counting Ward Churchill as a Ward Churhill supporter? Given the numbers we're dealing with, this could skew the percentages.
7.25.2007 5:10pm
John Robinson (mail):
I'm counting Ward Churchill and all of his pseudonyms as well.
7.25.2007 5:19pm
Hoosier:
/ALL/ of his pseudonyms? Don't we need some sort of predictive algorithm for that kind of data set?
7.25.2007 5:31pm
Alaska Jack (mail):
Responding to above comments about the right's "obsession" with Churchill, his status as a strawman, etc.

There were, naturally, many on the right who criticized Churchill. But more importantly, there were just as many who noted that Churchill was, indeed, an irrelevant crackpot. As they pointed out, the real scrutiny should be directed not toward Churchill but toward the University that not only hired him, but granted him tenure. Who made the decisions? Given the scarcity of tenured positions, what kind of people would grant one to a crackpot like Churchill? What due diligence was performed? If the diligence was not very, well, diligent, then why is that?

These are tough questions, which I note the university president assiduously ignores. But man, if I was a Colorado legislator, I'd demand answers.

- Alaska Jack
7.25.2007 5:48pm
David Walser:
Obviously, I have no idea of the actual numbers of Ward Churchill supporters. From what I've seen, however, they don't seem to be anywhere near as close to zero as I'd like.

Diana, I agree. I wish it were true that the number of Churchill's supporters could be counted on one or even two hands. Unfortunately, that's not the case. Too many do not believe in objective truth, or, if they do, they don't place too much value on such truth. For too many, the fact Churchill got the narrative right, even if his facts were made up, is the important thing. "Fake but accurate" is not a view held only in some newsrooms; it's also the attitude of too many academics.

Returning to my original point, too many confuse the 1st amendment guarantee of "free speech" with "speech without consequences". Some have an oversensitivity to speech issues and oppose any criticism of (or other bad consequences stemming from) someone's remarks. Since the public (as opposed to the government) had no legitimate basis for objecting to Churchill's remarks, any evidence of Churchill's frauds should be ignored by both the public and the government because the motives of those looking at Churchill were impure. Rather than risk chilling a future Churchill's speech, the argument goes, we should be willing to forgo disciplining Churchill for his non-speech related foibles.

What this argument ignores is that part of free speech is the ability to disagree -- sometimes loudly -- with the speaker. The 1st amendment should only be viewed as limiting government's ability to regulate speech. It shouldn't insulate a speaker from adverse reactions to what's been said. Otherwise, the 1st amendment would only protect the first speaker, never the second. That's a prescription for one sided, not robust, debate. Part of debating what Churchill said about 9/11 is a review of his standing as an academic -- which brings his prior work under proper scrutiny.
7.25.2007 6:29pm
Harry Eagar (mail):
'Who the hell is Ward Churchill and why is the right obsessed with him?'

Obsessed may be overstating it. Would youm describe the left as 'obsessed' about Alberto Gonzales' quetionable office administrative skills?

Churchill is not a loner. I don't know how many other fake academics have used race to bludgeon their way into tenured jobs, but I know of at least one other one.
7.25.2007 6:43pm
Bill Poser (mail) (www):
In order to avoid the appearance of retaliating against Churchill for his political opinions the University review committee assiduously avoided any discussion of his 9/11 essay, but in fact a case for incompetence as a political analyst can be made on the basis of that essay, independent of one's political views. In view of all of the evidence about Al-Qaeda, including its own statements, can any competant person seriously maintain that the 9/11 terrorists were actually "secular activists" as Churchill characterizes them? Even were it not for his plagiarism, misrepresentation of his ethnicity and military service, etc., the guy would still be an intellectual fraud who would never have been appointed in the first place in a less politicized field.
7.25.2007 6:45pm
Stash:
I don't believe there is a First Amendment exclusionary rule. I believe that is reserved for the Fourth and Fifth amendments. This seems to be more of a selective prosecution claim. Therefore, the reason the inculpatory information came to light is unimportant. That is, the information of his dishonesty was not acquired in any unconstitutional manner. The question is whether the information was used solely as a pretext to single out Churchill for removal due to his political speech.
There is quite a bit of evidence that the school shamefully ignored reports of his academic dishonesty for years. [FN: If there was some statute of limitations on this dishonesty, it would certainly have started to run years ago when the school received ample inquiry notice. However, I doubt any form of limitations or laches could apply, as I do not think one could reasonably rely on either the school's continued indifference, nor get around the "continuing violation" of his teaching his own materials as well as continued publication in reliance on previous dishonest work.] From there, it is not a long stretch to argue that the controversy not only precipitated the firing, but also caused it.
I am no expert on selective prosecution law, but I understand it is quite difficult to prove. It would seem to me that at a minimum, he would have to show that the school did not fire other professors for equally serious misconduct, or perhaps, that it had never made a serious attempt to enforce academic honesty as a general rule. I don't think he can rely solely on their neglect or even recklessness in failing to pursue previous accusations against him.
In my own view, it was political considerations that caused the school to ignore his thin credentials in the first place, and quite possibly the accusations in the second. So "he who lives by the sword, dies by the sword" seems to summarize the fact that his firing is at least poetic justice. Hopefully, CU has not been so academically lax that it has ignored other cases of similar dishonesty. If so, it may very well end up settling the case. In the meantime, its new, supposedly tightened scrutiny of its professors is hopefully sincere. Perhaps, by the time any trial occurs, any allegation of selective prosecution may be easily dealt with. That is, however lax its previous enforcement of academic honesty was, if, as a matter of fact the severity of Churchill's violations were a wake-up call rather than a selective prosecution, his suit should fail.
7.25.2007 7:50pm
Bruce Hayden (mail) (www):
As to the exclusionary rule - most, if not almost all, if the evidence against him was gathered by third parties, and fed to the University, well after a fairly strong case of academic fraud, etc. had already been made by these outside parties.

I don't remember all the specifics, but do remember that the Rocky Mountain News, as well as several talk show hosts ran with this for months. I can remember a time when Caplis and Silverman at 630 KHOW hit this almost every day for what seemed like months. Both are litigation attorneys and used some of their skills bringing it together and sorting through it. Caplis is reliably conservative, but Silverman is usually not. But what I think incited and united both of them on this quest was that they were both CU alums. RMN reporters also did a lot of valuable work in building the case against Churchill.

Because of all the outside work done before the CU investigation even got started, I think that any question about the exclusionary rule is moot - it is much more similar to the case where private citizens provide the police with the evidence to convict some wrongdoer, and the police run with it and get a conviction. Of course, they probably had to verify a lot of the evidence against Churchill, but when the groundwork was well done, as it was here, it was likely fairly easy to verify that, yes, he plagiarized here, and cited himself there.
7.25.2007 8:49pm
Bruce Hayden (mail) (www):
Eugene,

You are the 1st Amdt. expert here (or at least the most prominent one, given that it is your blog). What are your thoughts on any 1st Amdt. claims by Churchill?

My amateur thoughts are that if outside interests were able to spoon feed CU and make at least a prima facie case of professional misconduct, and if, as appears likely from what we have seen, CU went out of its way to not look at his non-academic speech when investigating him, wouldn't they be in pretty good shape in defending against a 1st Amdt. claim?
7.25.2007 8:54pm
Charlie (Colorado) (mail):

"Even Brian Leiter (phil of law, UT Austin, also of the Gourmet Report) defended Churchill."



Which is an indictment of Churchill in itself.
7.25.2007 9:03pm
Charlie (Colorado) (mail):

Even were it not for his plagiarism, misrepresentation of his ethnicity and military service, etc., the guy would still be an intellectual fraud who would never have been appointed in the first place in a less politicized field.


If "being an intellectual fraud" in that sense --- holding silly and apparently counter-factual views --- we a firing offense, the English, Philosophy, and Humanities Departments of most universities would be empty.
7.25.2007 9:06pm
Dave N (mail):
Maybe Churchill can make "documentaries" with Michael Moore now.
7.25.2007 9:19pm
cirby (mail):
For those of you who keep insisting that Churchill was and is a nonentity except in the minds of the Right, you might note that he makes upwards of $30,000 a month at speaking engagements for various leftist organizations, and that he's only gotten more popular since the "little Eichmanns" comment.

His books are used as textbooks at over 100 colleges, and he's certainly not going to be hurting for cash in the future (he'll probably make more money since he no longer has to schedule around his teaching duties).

But the "he's nobody" slant is to be expected. A lot of folks are useful for the left - until they become an embarrassment. See Cindy Sheehan, for example. Or those "military protesters" who are wondeful truthy sorts (until we find out that they weren't actually in the military and were lying about everything they said).

Now? They're non-people.
7.25.2007 10:18pm
Happyshooter:
If I recall correctly, when MLK's PhD dissertation was examined 45% was found to be plagiarized.

The university then determined that because less than one half was plagiarized, they would not revoke the degree.

I wonder what effect that decision had on Boston University grad students?
7.26.2007 10:26am
occidental tourist (mail):

Interesting that when Brown cited all the money received from different sources by the school, he didn´t bother to put a number to student tuition.


good point, I thought the same thing myself. It is at least a freudian slip not to mention the duty of the university to the students who pay tuition. Of course some might think that implicit, but these days so is the 'duty' of the federal and state government to support these establishments.

This is the best I could find and it vaguely jibes with what the President said as the "restricted funds budget" is grants for specific things, probably mostly federal and it shows almost $600 million. Tuition is included in the "State funded appropriations" part of the budget. I gleaned this from another page that was just for the Boulder campus. So if you take out the $200 million in aid Brown recognizes then tuition which is the bulk of the remainder is about $550 million. Of that some 70% at the Boulder campus, couldn't find a global figure, comes from out of state tuition.

This reflects the salutary trend that high profile state research institutes are becoming more 'self-funding' vis-a-vis state support. Once this concept trickles down I'll be happier, although this tend doesn't address the cunard or at least the unrebutted proposition, that only the government, esp. the federal government, can fund basic research. This concept holds true for public and private institutions with regards to the funding of research.

Finally on Churchill, we were talking about Churchill weren't we -- I probably have mentioned this in some other context or one of the other posts but never tire of pointing to 'his' body of work which itself rebuts his little eichmanns moment. Churchill, presumably, wrote this article for Z magazine published in 1996 where he distinctly associated himself with the school of thought that loose analogy to the holocaust was an immoral assault on the truth. This is the nub of his argument citing Lipstadt (who I believe actually exists although I haven't confirmed it):


In framing her responses, Lipstadt does a further great service by setting out a sort of typology of Holocaust revisionism. Not everyone involved, she maintains, is as crude as the outright deniers like Butz, Faurisson, Leuchter, Carto, Irving and Zundel. Others, like Rassinier, Barnes, Hoggan and App, might be better understood as "minimizers"; that is, those who engage in a range of sophistries designed to make the magnitude of the Holocaust appear less than it was. From there, by carefully mixing known facts with their fictions, the latter group advances false sets of moral comparisons--e.g., the nazi extermination center at Auschwitz was "really no different" than the concentration camps at Dauchau (false); and Dauchau wasn't all that different from the camp at Manzanar in which Japanese Americans were interned by the U.S. government during the war (true). Therefore the nazi treatment of untermenschen was "no worse than" that accorded by the U.S. to its "Jap" minority (false)--which the author rightly describes as being "immoral equivalencies."


and to engage in the evil of quoting myself -- I guess it's not half so evil if I admit it (from an essay I wrote juxtaposing the treatment of Churchill's Eichmann moment and Larry Summers purportedly intemperate musings on a gender basis for scientific apptitude and before widespread discussion of Churchill's flouting of scholarly standards, although I'm still think it applies):


Ward Churchill is a household name these days as is Adolf Eichmann, the Nazi who organized the transportation infrastructure in support of Hitler’s “final solution” – a sobriquet Eichmann himself is credited with coining. Churchill has gained notoriety for implying that those who worked in the ‘twin towers’ were the organizers of the machinery necessary for latter day holocausts...

...The problem at Colorado University is not that they have granted tenure to yet one more socialist malcontent who equates capitalism with genocide – this is, after all, the rule not the exception on most campuses. The problem is that the University appears to have offered tenure to not one person who will confront the substance of Churchill’s remarks. It is understandable that the popular mood regarding his analogy would be reactionary. But there is not a single scholar from the University of Colorado who has come forward to point out that Churchill has violated analytical principles he himself laid out only a decade ago.

Eichmann was a Nazi party member who joined the SS and was transferred to the Gestapo. He was not a civilian who quietly accepted his country’s transgressions while engaging in business as usual. He was the person who planned for the transportation of jews and others to the death camps. Thus Churchill is guilty of gross sophistry to suggest that since “Eichmann was not charged with direct killing but with ensuring the smooth running of the infrastructure” he was the moral equivalent of a ‘technocrat’ at the World Trade Center whose participation in the American economy supports through indirection any of America’s international prerogatives with which Churchill is dissatisfied – and there are of course many.

That Colorado taxpayers, who are coerced to provide a measure of support for the likes of Churchill, wish to see him chucked out in the proverbial street is an argument to get the government out of the education business, not for upending traditions of academic tenure and open debate on campus...

...The outpouring of loud and principled defense in the scholarly community for the academic freedom of Ward Churchill stands in stark contrast to that expressed for Larry Summers. There has been a great effort of late to explain away the perception of academia as prisoners of the left hidebound by rules of political correctness. We are told PC is not real, but simply the product of an incredibly effective PR campaign by the right [see, e.g.,uh clem: "(former) Prof. Churchill is completely irrelevant, except as a strawman. If he didn't exist, someone would have to invent him."]. Academia had the opportunity this past week to embrace academic freedom across the board and instead chose once again to coddle the left and attack the right.


Brian (pseudonym of Occidental Tourist)
7.26.2007 11:25am
occidental tourist (mail):
sorry, left out the link to the Churchill's 1996 Z Magazine Article:

Assaults on Truth and Memory: Holocaust Denial in Context
7.26.2007 11:29am
Sylvester Newell (mail) (www):
I Got Your University; Right Here: Ward Churchill, Tip Of Iceberg

(The Saga Continues)

Churchill had a friend, Ruben G. Mendoza, a teaching assistant at the University of Colorado, Denver. Ruben’s department Chair Dr. Moore, for abusing students, booted him from the university, against which Mendoza promptly filed suit. Ruben, an ersatz Chicano, resurfaced as an activist, and got fast-tracked to tenure through one Steven F. Arvizu, at CSU Monterey Bay. Mendoza became the nosebleed of the fledgling university. Churchill was invited to CSUMB by Ruben to speak at a weeklong gathering of the clan. Mendoza also engages in academic misconduct, so far without consequence. The Duke lacrosse team fiasco shows that liberals have created a phony cultural paradigm that distorts reality. And, no one exploits phony paradigms, obfuscates truth, or games the system like the Clintons. Point being, miscreants like Churchill and Mendoza have powerful political backers: the fish rots from the head.

The Taliban might as well as run the university. -David Horowitz

Set the Wayback Machine for 23 August 1995: a hot day in the nation’s capitol. But 3000 miles due west on California’s Central Coast, a constellation of events was unfolding that would have a profound effect on Western civilization; plunge it into decades of war. Yet, this cataclysmic upheaval was only part of the plan. Bill Clinton picked up the telephone. It was his Chief of Staff Leon Panetta, calling from a payphone in Monterey. Bill held the receiver at arms length and gazed at the tasteful floral arrangement that adorned the Oval Office. Leon’s disembodied voice filled the room. What now, asked Hillary. It’s that damn college, mouthed Bill. There was, no getting out. Hillary nodded, just tell Leon he’ll get whatever he needs: http://theseedsof9-11.com
7.30.2007 1:47am