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Old 02-04-2005, 08:53 AM   #1
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Should This Professor Be Fired?

I saw on CNN the "other things" he said, maybe his article is available somewhere online

By CATHERINE TSAI, Associated Press Writer

AURORA, Colo. - University of Colorado administrators Thursday took the first steps toward a possible dismissal of a professor who likened World Trade Center victims to a notorious Nazi.

Interim Chancellor Phil DiStefano ordered a 30-day review of Ward Churchill's speeches and writings to determine if the professor overstepped his boundaries of academic freedom and whether that should be grounds for dismissal.

Also Thursday, the Board of Regents issued an apology for Churchill's remarks at a meeting and voted to support the university's review of Churchill.

The raucous meeting drew dozens of protesters who back Churchill; at least two were arrested for disrupting the meeting and another was led away in handcuffs.

The regents refused to take public comment at their meeting, prompting an outcry from some of the 35 students who carried signs reading, "Protect academic freedom" and "Witch hunt." About a dozen professors also attended.

"I wish the regents had agreed to take some public comments," said law professor Barbara Bintliff, chairwoman of the Boulder Faculty Assembly. "Discussion and debate is what a university is all about."

Gov. Bill Owens issued a written statement saying he deplored the behavior of some of the students at the meeting, and that their behavior underscored the "culture of violence" that can be spawned by essays such as Churchill's.

Owens has called for Churchill's firing.

The furor erupted last month after Churchill was invited to speak at Hamilton College in upstate New York. Campus officials discovered an essay and follow-up book by Churchill in which he said the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks were a response to a history of American abuses abroad, particularly against indigenous peoples.

Among other things, he said those killed in the trade center were "little Eichmanns," a reference to Adolf Eichmann, who organized Nazi plans to exterminate Jews. The college canceled Churchill's appearance, citing death threats and concerns about security.

University officials have previously condemned Churchill's comments but defended his right to express them. University President Elizabeth Hoffman declined to comment Thursday on Churchill's future.

Churchill, whose pickup truck was vandalized with swastikas in front of his Boulder home sometime late Tuesday, has promised to sue the school if he is removed.

Earlier Thursday, the state Senate passed a resolution denouncing Churchill's comments as "evil and inflammatory." The nonbinding resolution was identical to one passed Wednesday by the House.

Democratic state Sen. Peter Groff cast the lone "no" vote, saying he disagreed with Churchill but that the resolution provides him with undeserved attention and attacks free speech.
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Old 02-04-2005, 09:07 AM   #2
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I wish politicians would get their nose out of education. I'd love to read all of Churchill's comments, so I could figure out the connotation. Even if I disagreed, it's an assault on academic freedom and they're just doing a knee-jerk, PC reaction.

With that, I do support the university's decision to comb through his speeches and see if they go beyond reasonable academic freedom.

I also wish academics would actually bother to use "academic language" and stop all this Nazi talk. It annoys the hell out of me.

Melon
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Old 02-04-2005, 10:01 AM   #3
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How do you balance academic freedom with academic excellence?

A university will have a finite number of positions for professors. They should fill them with the best individuals available. If one professor's pursuit of academic freedom lowers the excellence provided to the school, I think it would be reasonable to seek a replacement.

I trust this would be done on the body of work, and not the sound bite provided by the media.
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Old 02-04-2005, 10:23 AM   #4
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No he shouldn't be fired.

I too would like to see the context in which he said/wrote that, as it really doesn't make much sense standing alone. And considering what Colorado tolerated re: the football team and sexual assault/misconduct, this smacks of hypocrisy (what a surprise).
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Old 02-04-2005, 10:49 AM   #5
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Here's a statement he made about it, maybe someone else has the time to do an online search to find out more

Context or not, I think it's despicable to refer to the 9/11 victims that way, he attempts to explain that in this statement

http://www.wnd.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=42699

I do think some professors like to be controversial just for that purpose
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Old 02-04-2005, 10:51 AM   #6
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Buy
Hold
or Sell?

I predict Sell.

His days are numbered.

His opinions and remarks are drawing attention.

But a bigger problem is that he may have been passing himself off as American Indian, while that is not the case.
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Old 02-04-2005, 01:52 PM   #7
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Another attack on the first ammendment. The US public is certainly complicit in the attacks of 9/11. This an exchange of education for popular opinion.

This is one more battle in "The War on Resistance". Opinions, no matter how unpopular, should be welcome in free society. It's dangerous to limit perspectives. This is a deliberate attack on all people in a free and just society.


Jon
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Old 02-04-2005, 02:08 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by Klink
Another attack on the first ammendment. The US public is certainly complicit in the attacks of 9/11. This an exchange of education for popular opinion.
Jon, this is not a First Amendment issue -- the First Amendment doesn't protect government-funded employees from being fired when they say monumentally stupid things.

This is an academic freedom issue. It's generally understood (and written into tenure contracts, though to what extent I don't know) that tenured faculty are supposed to have a lot of leeway in the things they say and publish, in the spirit of scholarly inquiry. (How "scholarly" Churchill's statements are, of course, is open to debate.)

Big difference.

Just thought this point should be clarified.
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Old 02-04-2005, 03:09 PM   #9
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This has been *all* anyone in Colorado is talking about, which I find positively shameful considering what else is going on in our world--and our state.

I really wish locals would realize that this is largely a strawman for Governor Bill Owens--for the past 4 years, he's done nothing but find ways to avoid "governing," from trips to Russia, to solving steroid issues in baseball, to his own sports show, to this kind of crap. He doesn't give a about higher education the rest of the time, only when he fears we're being indoctrinated.

I also wish Colorado would realize that CU has long been an academic joke and it is long past time to clean house. I'm beginning to think that CU thrives on these kinds of scandals--rather than respond to my e-mail queries and send me a grad school packet, they'd rather operate on this kind of name recognition!

Personally, I think the guy should be fired because it's obvious he's a subpar professor, who relies on controversial phrases and cheesy claims rather than solid academic research and writing. Any professional academic should be ashamed to write such garbage, and ought to be waiting tables in favor of more deserving faculty. College is too expensive, my money should not be funding some jackass' rants.

I don't think he is a threat to American security, nor do I think he's encouraging terrorism. I'm really getting sick of Owens & Co assuming that as a young college student, I swallow every fact my professors tell me without question--that the evil liberals are brainwashing me. Please. If he was preaching the GOP agenda, I doubt we'd care about brainwashing then.
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Old 02-04-2005, 03:17 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by AvsGirl41
I'm really getting sick of Owens & Co assuming that as a young college student, I swallow every fact my professors tell me without question--that the evil liberals are brainwashing me. Please. If he was preaching the GOP agenda, I doubt we'd care about brainwashing then.
Well, a lot of students seem to swallow a lot of crap at schools. Business school and supply-side economics education is a prime example of that.

Melon
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Old 02-04-2005, 03:34 PM   #11
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I'm not denying that students don't just swallow inaccuracy--but this kind of debate isn't about that. It's not really about improving education, or the critical thinking capacity of students.
It's about making sure we're taught what Bill Owens thinks is correct.

I resent their insistence that because some guy like Churchill is advocating radicalism, I will immediately become a radical because my childlike brain doesn't know any better. I don't like what Churchill is saying--and I have no doubt many Boulder students swallow it, which is a shame. But Owens & Co pull this act constantly and so I don't buy his concerns as being genuine.
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Old 02-04-2005, 03:46 PM   #12
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Well, I agree with you, overall. Politicians are a cancer, mostly.

Melon
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Old 02-04-2005, 04:52 PM   #13
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this guy's just a loser, period.


http://www.rockymountainnews.com/drm...519179,00.html
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Old 02-04-2005, 05:03 PM   #14
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What'd I say?
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Old 02-04-2005, 05:20 PM   #15
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perhaps it would have made sense to fire him if he had a history of controversial statements
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