Churchill, third

My third and last post (#1 and #2) on Ward Churchill’s trial, who has correctly won his suit against the University of Colorado, but I want to draw attention to Fish’s nuanced account of the affair on his blog.

How did a garden-variety academic quarrel about sources,evidence and documentation complete with a lot of huffing and puffing by everyone get elevated first into a review of the entire life of a tenured academic and then into a court case when that academic was terminated. How and why did it get that far? (…)

It was the jury’s task to determine whether Churchill’s dismissal would have occurred independently of the adverse political response to his constitutionally protected statements. In the ordinary academic course of things would his writings have been subject to the extended and minute scrutiny that led to the committee’s recommendations? (…) The answer seems obvious to me and it has now been given authoritative form in the jury’s verdict.

Little Goebbels

Been drunk for too long. Forgot this. I recorded my anticipation re: the Ward Churchill trial a few days ago. Now the verdict has come through and “A jury found on Thursday that the University of Colorado had wrongfully dismissed” him. Correctly, I may add. They awarded him, however, damages in as high an amount as $1. And he may not, after all, get hired again. For in-depth coverage of the trial and the aftermath, I recommend this blog.


NY Times this morning:

After a four-week trial, a jury in Denver is deliberating the case of Ward L. Churchill, a former University of Colorado professor who says he was fired because of an essay he wrote in which he called victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks “little Eichmanns.”

The university says Mr. Churchill plagiarized and falsified parts of his academic research, particularly on American Indians, and cited this as grounds for his dismissal in July 2007. Mr. Churchill brought a wrongful termination suit against the university, seeking monetary damages for lost wages and harm to his reputation. He also wants to be reinstated to his job teaching ethnic studies. […]

Throughout the trial, the university maintained that it fired Mr. Churchill solely “for his research misconduct, for taking other people’s work and making it his own, for fabricating research, for falsifying research,” as Steven K. Bosley, a university regent, told the court.

“It was not one time, not even one time on purpose,” Mr. Bosley added. “It was a pattern of misconduct.”