16 May, 2006

Goodbye And Good Riddance

For what seems like forever, I've been waiting for this day with baited breath... The votes are tallied, and Ward Churchill appears to be on his way out.

From the (Extremely long title, don't'cha think?) Report of the Investigative Committee of the Standing Committee on Research Misconduct at the University of Colorado at Boulder concerning Allegations of Academic Misconduct against Professor Ward Churchill (PDF warning):
Two members of the Committee conclude and recommend that Professor Churchill should not be dismissed. They reach this conclusion because they do not think his conduct so serious as to satisfy the criteria for revocation of tenure and dismissal set forth in section 5.C.1 of the Law of the Regents, because they are troubled by the circumstances under which these allegations have been made, and because they believe that his dismissal would have an adverse effect on the ability of other scholars to conduct their research with due freedom. These two members agree and recommend that the most appropriate sanction, following any required additional procedures as specified by the University├é’s rules, is a suspension from University employment without pay for a term of two years.

Three members of the Committee believe that Professor Churchill├é’s research misconduct is so serious that it satisfies the criteria for revocation of tenure and dismissal specified in section 5.C.1 of the Laws of the Regents, and hence that revocation of tenure and dismissal, after completion of all normal procedures, is not an improper sanction. One of these members believes and recommends that dismissal is the most appropriate sanction; the other two believe and recommend that the most appropriate sanction is suspension from University employment without pay for a term of five years.
Oh boy oh boy. Talk about something that feels better than Fitzmas! As this article from the Denver Post summarizes:

Three of the five scholars who examined the ethnic studies professor's work for four months believe Churchill's academic misconduct is serious enough that CU could fire him from his tenured job, the report said.

But two of those three said the most appropriate sanction would be to suspend him without pay for five years.

The other two committee members did not believe Churchill's research misconduct was serious enough to warrant termination. They suggested the university suspend him without pay for two years.

While the committee was split on exactly how seriously he should be punished, the fact that all five members believe that some punishment is warranted renews much of my faith in the principle of academic honesty, particularly as practiced at CU-Boulder.

Even though I happen to despise the man's opinions, I must agree with one thing he's said over the past few weeks. None of this would have come to light without the power of the alternative medias known as talk radio and blogging. If it hadn't been for the constant digging by, for perhaps the local example, Denver talk show hosts Dan Caplis and Craig Silverman, very little of this would have come into the light of day. It wasn't just the Republicans that were after Churchill, regardless of what Churchill himself believes. Once the stories about academic dishonesty surfaced, quite a few of us on the left-hand side of the road began to ask for his tenure to be revoked. Indeed, contrary to the opinion of this IndyMedia article, Craig Silverman is not a conservative but a registered Democrat. (I think I've mentioned before my habit of listening to talk radio, so I'll just assume that this "A Citizen" simply prejudged his political standing by the media reports.)

Ward has the right to his opinions about the 9/11 victims. That was not the issue that came down today. But rather than admit his gross academic dishonesty, plagarism, and vast multitude of other sins against the halls of academe, the only issue that will come to the fore from Churchill and his lawyer, David Lane, will be that he is being persecuted simply due to those opinions. Personally, I expect a full-blown press conference at 3p MT on Wednesday, complete with someone comparing Colorado governor Bill Owens to Adolf Hitler. (Thus proves Godwin's Law.) Oh, and they've already threatened to take this to federal court, too.

Still, let Mr. Churchill do whatever he wishes. At least once he's been placed on suspension, that is. Hell, I'd take suspension-with-pay until after his lawsuits are settled. (That would be worth my tax dollars, I'd say.) And then he'll suffer through his revocation of tenure and suspension without pay for five years... And wind up right back to where he was before all this started: an academic hack with an ego the precise size of the chip on his shoulder.

Carpe jugulum.

[UPDATE: 21:30] The Pirate Ballerina says that Churchill's wife resigned her position two weeks ago. Via Instapundit.


Off Colfax said...

Oh, almost forgot.

Happy 100th post to me!

Anonymous said...

Happy 100th post!

Oh, and "academians" (read: not honest scholars but clever parasites who can BS well) in their ivory towers should remember that they are largely there either on the suffrage of the people, or because people want to get them out of mainstream society because they're dishonest, disruptive, generally cantakerous, and loud. Kind of like two year olds with hyper-vocabularies on 5 pounds of sugar.

If Ward Churchill pushes these cases to court - which he likely will, because not to do so ruins his victim image - then I vote we have a new rule. Anyone who brings a spurious case before a judge should be beaten repeatedly by an Italian nonna with a wooden spoon every time he or his lawyer talks. Oh, and televise it. That way, the masses get their entertainment and hopefully educate themselves on what *not* to do. As Professor Churchill is supposed to be a teacher, he should be all for this idea. Right?